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XVin.  The  Government  of  the  Ottoman 
Empire  in  the  Time  of  Suleiman  the 
Magnificent.  By  Albert  Howe  L\b\-er, 
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"Our  empire  is  the  home  of  Islam;  from  father  to  son  the 
lamp  of  our  empire  is  kept  burning  with  oil  from  the  hearts  of 
the  infidels."  Mohammed  II,  the  Conqueror. 

"  A  lord  and  his  bondsmen."  Ranks. 

"  Les  Turcs  .  .  .  n6es  de  la  guerre  et  organis6es  pour  la 
conqufte."  Cahun. 

"  The  Ottoman  government  .  .  .  seems  to  have  attained 
during  the  sixteenth  century  the  highest  degree  of  perfection  of 
which  its  constitution  was  capable."  Robertson. 


Oxford  University  Press 


COPYRIGHT,   1 913 




The  Ottoman  Turks,  after  the  world  had  long  despaired  of 
them,  have  in  these  last  years  shown  signs  of  renewed  vigor. 
The  time  is,  then,  perhaps  not  inauspicious  for  an  examination 
of  the  structure  of  their  organisation  in  the  period  of  its  greatest 
power  and  prestige.  It  is  not  easy  for  the  present  age  to  reahze 
how  large  the  empire  of  Suleiman  bulked  in  the  eyes  of  contem- 
poraneous Europe.  Amid  the  vast  energies  and  activities,  the 
magnificent  undertakings  and  achievements,  of  the  marvellous 
sixteenth  century,  nothing  surpassed  the  manifestations  of  power 
that  swept  forth  from  Constantinople.  The  following  pages 
will  have  been  worth  while  if  their  incomplete  presentation 
shadows  forth,  however  dimly,  the  secrets  of  Ottoman  greatness 
and  success. 

This  book  was  originally  prepared  in  partial  fulfilment  of  the 
requirements  for  the  degree  of  Doctor  of  Philosophy  in  Harvard 
University,  and  was  subsequently  awarded  the  Toppan  Prize. 
The  writer  desires  to  acknowledge  his  very  great  indebtedness 
for  advice,  suggestion,  and  criticism  to  a  number  of  kind  friends 
with  whom  he  has  consulted,  but  especially  to  Professor  A.  C. 
Coolidge  and  Professor  G.  F.  Moore.  Nor  can  he  let  the  book 
go  to  press  without  recording  his  extreme  obligation  to  his  wife 
for  unwearying  assistance  at  every  stage  of  its  preparation. 

A.   H.   L. 

Oberlin,  Ohio,  1912. 




Ideas  Constitute  a  Nation 3 

The  Background  of  Ottoman  History 5 

Character  and  Mission  of  the  Ottoman  Empire 7 

The  Racial  Descent  of  the  Ottoman  Turks lo 

Seljuk  and  Ottoman  Turks  in  Asia  Minor 14 

The  Sources  of  Ottoman  Culture     18 



Definition 25 

The  Limitations  on  Despotism     26 

The  Territorlal  Basis 28 

The  Peoples 33 

Institutions  of  Government     35 

Contemporary  Descriptions  of  the  Two  Great  Institutions  .  38 



I.   General  Description 45 

II.  The  Slave-Family 47 

Methods  of  Recruiting 49 

The  Tribute  Boys 51 

Estimate  of  the  System 53 

The  Slave  Status 55 

The  Harem,  the  Eunuchs,  and  the  Royal  Family  ...  56 

Other  Ottoman  Slave-Families     58 

Character  of  Ottoman  Slavery 60 




I.  The  Missionary  Motive      62 

The  Ottoman  Attitude 63 

Other  Motives  for  Incorporating  Christlans 65 




The  Requirement  of  Conversion 66 

Sincerity  of  Conversion 68 

Effect  of  the  Process 69 

II.  The  Educational  Scheme 71 

The  Colleges  of  Pages 73 

The  Harem 78 

The  Ajem-oghlans     79 

Advancement  Based  on  Merit 82 

Punishments 88 


The  Military  Aspect 90 

The  Janissaries 91 

The  Succession  to  the  Throne 93 

The  Spahis  of  the  Porte 98 

The  Feudal  Spahis 100 

Officers  of  the  Feudal  Spahis 103 

Other  Bodies  of  Troops 105 

Discipline  and  Ardor 108 

The  Supreme  Command 109 

Indivisibility  of  the  Army iii 


I.  Privileges  of  the  Kullar      114 

Nobility  not  Hereditary 117 

II.   Character  of  the  Sultan's  Court      120 

Organization  of  the  Household 123 

The  Harem 124 

The  Inside  Service 126 

The  Outside  Service 128 

The  Ceremonies  of  the  Court 133 

Influence  of  the  Court 141 


Summary 146 

Functions  of  the  Ottoman  Government 147 

The  Sultan  as  Head  of  the  State  and  of  the  Government  .  150 

The  Sultan  as  Legislator 152 

The  Legislation  of  Suleiman 159 

The  Viziers 163 



The  Defterdars  or  Treasurers 167 

Taxation  in  the  Ottoman  Empire i75 

SuLEiiiAN's  Income     i79 

The  Nishanji  or  Chancellor 182 

The  Divan  or  Council 187 

The  Ruling  Institution  as  a  Whole 193 



General  Description 199 

Financial  Support  of  the  Moslem  Institution 200 

The  Educational  System 203 

Clergy,  Seids,  and  Dervishes 206 

Jurists  and  the  Mufti 207 

The  Judicial  System 215 

The  Moslem  Institution  as  a  Whole 224 



Likenesses 227 

Differences 230 

Interactions 232 

The  Relative  Power  of  the  Institutions 233 


I.  The  Second  Book  of  the  Affairs  of  the  Turks 

Written   in    1534,    supposedly    by   Benedetto    Raaiberti. 
Translated  from  the  Italian 239 

II.  Pamphlet  of  Junis  Bey  and  Alvise  Gritti 

Printed  in  1537.    Presented  in  the  original  Italian 262 

III.  Incomplete   Table   of    Contents    of   the   Kanun-Nameh, 

OR  Collection  of  Edicts,  of  Suleiman  the  Magnificent 

as  arranged  by  the  Mufti  Ebu  Su'ud 

Translated  from  the  Turkish 276 

IV.  The  Government  of  the  Mogul  Empire  in  India 

General  Comparison  of  Ottoman  and  Indian  Conditions     .    .  278 

The  Personnel  of  the  Mogul  Government 279 

Relation  of  Government  to  Religious  Propagation    ..'...  2S3 

The  Army 285 



The  Court 287 

The  Government  Proper 292 

The  Moslems  and  the  Moslem  Church 299 

Books  consulted  in  the  Preparation  of  Appendix  IV    ....  303 

V.   Bibliographical  Notes 

i.  Origins  of  Ottoman  Governmental  Ideas 305 

ii.   The  Ottoman  Government  in  the  Sixteenth  Century     .    .    .  307 

iii.   Alphabetical  List  of  Works  Cited      322 


INDEX 339 





Ideas  Constitute  a  Nation 

A  nation,  when  considered  from  its  earliest  to  its  latest  days, 
is  much  more  a  body  of  ideas  than  a  race  of  men.  Men  die, 
families  decay,  the  original  stock  tends  to  disappear;  new 
individuals  are  admitted  from  without,  new  family  groups  take 
the  lead,  whole  tribes  are  incorporated  and  absorbed;  after 
centuries  the  anthropological  result  often  bears  but  slight  resem- 
blance to  the  original  type.  Undoubtedly  the  fabric  of  ideas 
which  a  nation  weaves  as  its  history  develops  also  undergoes 
changes  of  pattern;  old  principles  pass  out  of  sight,  and  new 
ones,  born  of  circumstance,  or  brought  in  from  without,  come  to 
controlling  influence.  But  ideas  are  not,  Hke  men,  mortal: 
they  can  be  transmitted  from  man  to  man  through  ages;  they 
can  be  stored  in  books  and  thus  pass  from  the  dead  to  the  li\'ing; 
when  built  together  into  a  soHd  and  attractive  structure,  they 
impart  to  the  whole  something  of  their  individual  immortality. 
Singly  they  pass  as  readily  to  strangers  as  to  kindred;  when 
organized  to  rounded  completeness  as  the  culture  of  a  great 
living  nation,  they  have  a  power  which  lays  hold  of  men  of  many 
races,  alone  or  in  masses,  and  in  the  absence  of  strong  prejudice 
compels  acceptance. 

Such  an  assimilative  force  can  clearly  be  seen  in  vigorous 
operation  in  the  United  States  of  America  today,  A  system  of 
ideas,  woven  of  countless  threads  spun  by  Egyptian,  Babylonian, 
Hebrew,  Greek,  Roman,  and  Teuton,  preserved  and  enlarged 
by  Frank,  Anglo-Saxon,  Norman,  and  Enghshman,  recombined 
in  a  new  and  striking  pattern  by  the  founders  of  the  repubhc, 
is  thrown  over  men  from  every  nation  under  heaven,  who  under 
its  influence  all  become  of  one  type,  not  to  be  mistaken  wherever 
it  is  seen. 



The  history  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  reveals  the  constant 
working  of  a  like  assimilative  force.  It  was  not  merely,  and  not 
even  mainly,  the  compulsion  of  the  sword  that  built  up  and  main- 
tained the  strongest  national  power  of  the  sixteenth  century. 
Swords  must  be  wielded  by  men;  and  how  were  enough  strong 
and  capable  men  found  and  bound  together  in  willing  cooperation 
to  conquer  large  sections  of  Europe,  Asia,  and  Africa,  to  organize 
and  govern  their  conquests  in  a  fairly  satisfactory  fashion,  and 
to  establish  a  structure  which,  after  more  than  three  hundred 
years  of  decay,  disaster,  and  disintegration,  has  yet  enough 
strength  to  form  the  basis  for  a  new  departure  ?  The  only 
answer  possible  is  that  the  attraction  of  a  great  body  of  national 
ideas  gathered  men  from  every  direction  and  many  races  to  unite 
in  a  common  effort.  Although  much  violence,  injustice,  and 
destructive  passion  was  involved,  the  result  was  a  great  and  on 
the  whole  a  durable  and  useful  empire. 

The  government  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  when  at  the  height 
of  its  power  cannot  be  understood  from  a  description  of  its  court, 
costumes,  ceremonies,  and  officials,  with  a  catalogue  of  their 
provinces  and  duties.  A  thorough  comprehension  of  the  main 
political  ideas  that  constituted  the  life  of  the  empire  is  essential. 
Since  most  of  these  ideas  were  old  and  tried,  and  were  wrought 
in  a  thousand  ways  into  the  general  scheme,  a  complete  treat- 
ment w^ould  demand  that  they  should  be  considered  historically 
from  the  time  of  their  adoption.  Nor  would  it  be  sufficient  to 
go  back  to  the  beginning  of  the  house  of  Osman.  The  Turkish 
nucleus  which  gathered  around  him,  and  the  Mohammedans 
and  Christians  from  near  and  far  who  joined  his  rising  fortunes 
were  already  in  possession,  in  a  fairly  systematic  form,  of  most 
of  the  ideas  of  the  completed  Ottoman  government.  The 
inquiry  should  be  begun  farther  back,  among  Byzantine  Greeks, 
Seljuk  Turks,  Mohammedans  of  Persia  and  Arabia,  and  Turks 
of  Central  Asia.  Many  of  the  ideas,  indeed,  can  be  traced  yet 
farther,  through  Tartary  to  China  and  through  Parthia  and 
Rome  to  Babylon  and  Egypt. 

These  origins,  however,  cannot  be  considered  here  except  in 
the  briefest  possible  fashion.    All  that  can  be  done  is  to  outhne 


the  background  of  Ottoman  history,  the  general  character  of 
the  Ottoman  Empire  and  its  service  to  the  world,  the  racial 
descent  of  the  Ottoman  Turks,  and  the  main  influences  which 
affected  their  institutions  and  culture. 

The  Background  of  Ottoman  History 

From  early  times  the  developing  Chinese  civilization  in  the 
valley  of  the  Yellow  River  had  to  contend  with  intermittent 
attacks  from  the  barbarians  of  the  north  and  west.  In  the  latter 
half  of  the  third  century  B.C.  China's  work  of  domestic  consoHda- 
tion  and  centralization  reached  completeness,  and  foreign  con- 
quest began.  The  policy  was  then  initiated  which  has  never 
since  been  departed  from,  —  the  subjugation  of  the  outlying 
lands  and  the  cultural  assimilation  of  their  inhabitants.^  Fol- 
lowing up  with  armies,  governors,  and  garrisons  the  nomads 
who  fled  to  the  west,  by  the  beginning  of  the  second  century  a.d. 
China  held  vassal  all  the  population  of  the  steppe  country  from 
the  Great  Wall  to  the  Caspian  Sea;  her  frontiers  marched  with 
those  of  Parthia.  Early  in  the  third  century  she  entered  upon 
four  hundred  years  of  weakness,  and  her  western  possessions 
fell  away;  but  she  regained  strength  and  restored  her  western 
dominion  just  in  time  to  confront  the  rising  Saracen  flood. 
During  three  brilliant  centuries,  the  seventh,  eight,  and  ninth 
of  our  era,  she  held  the  nomads  in  fairly  constant  subjection, 
and  presumably  taught  them  many  of  her  orderly,  organized 
ways.  It  was  probably  in  part  by  the  strength  of  her  discipline 
that  in  the  succeeding  half-millennium  the  descendants  of  these 
nomads,  Turks  and  Mongols,  wrought  their  will  from  the  Sea 
of  Japan  to  the  Adriatic,  over  most  of  Asia,  half  of  Europe, 
and  a  goodly  portion  of  Africa. 

From  the  eighth  century  Turks  drifted  southwestward  in 
ever-increasing  numbers  out  of  Chinese  territory  into  the  declin- 
ing Saracen  Empire.  Early  in  the  eleventh  century  an  army 
followed  this  course  and  set  up  the  vast  but  short-lived  empire 
of  the  Seljuk  Turks.  These  broke  the  eastern  frontier  of  Asia 
Minor,  which  had  protected  the  Greeks  and  Romans  for  fourteen 

^  Cahun,  Introduction  a  VHistoire  de  rAsie,  go. 


hundred  years,  and  pushed  on  until  they  could  see  the  domes  o: 
Constantinople.  The  eastward  pressure  of  the  crusading  perioc 
kept  them  from  European  shores  for  two  centuries,  near  the  close 
of  which  the  Mongols  overran  their  disintegrated  lands.  ^. 
remnant,  the  Seljuk  Sultanate  of  Rum,  struggled  on  in  Asif 
Minor  until  the  close  of  the  thirteenth  century,  when  it  fell  intc 
ten  parts.  The  East  Roman,  or  Byzantine  Empire,  had  by  thai 
time  also  been  thoroughly  wrecked,  and  the  Balkan  Peninsula 
was  divided  among  Frank,  ItaHan,  and  Catalan,  Greek,  Serb 
Albanian,  Wallach,  and  Bulgarian. 

The  people  of  one  of  the  ten  fragments  of  the  Seljuk  Sultanate 
of  Rum  took  the  name  of  Osmanlis  from  their  chief  Osman, 
Located  on  the  border  of  the  Greek  and  Turkish  groups  oi 
principalities,  they  drew  men  and  governmental  ideas  from  both 
The  rapidity  of  their  growth  from  so  small  a  beginning,  and  undei 
such  apparently  unfavorable  circumstances,  into  a  durable  stat€ 
is  one  of  the  marvellous  things  of  history.  In  about  two  and  a 
quarter  centuries  from  the  time  of  their  independence  they  were 
able  to  attempt  for  the  last  time  to  unite  the  entire  Mediter- 
ranean civilization  into  one  empire.  North  Africa,  Eg}^t. 
Syria,  Arabia,  the  Tigris-Euphrates  valley,  Armenia,  Asia 
Minor,  Greece,  the  Balkan  Peninsula,  a  large  part  of  moderr 
Austria-Hungary  and  of  modern  Russia,  were  theirs;  the> 
threatened  Italy,  Central  and  Eastern  Europe,  and  Persia, 
They  thus  held  all  three  of  the  earhest  centers  of  Mediterranear 
civilization,  the  western  half  of  the  Old  Persian  Empire,  and  all 
the  dominions  of  Rome  except  the  northwestern  one-third. 
Apart  from  Spain  and  the  lands  east  of  the  Zagros  Mountains, 
they  ruled  the  Saracen  Empire.  With  the  exception  of  Ital> 
(with  Illyricum  and  the  adjacent  islands)  and  the  short-lived 
Byzantine  conquests  in  Spain,  the  empire  of  Justinian  lay  within 
their  boundaries.  The  later  Byzantine  Empire  became  the 
heart  of  their  dominions,  and  its  two  chief  supports  —  the  trade 
which  passed  through  the  Bosphorus  and  the  products  and  mer 
of  Asia  Minor  —  became  their  own  principal  supports.  The 
inheritance  of  lands  and  of  institutions  by  the  Ottoman  Turks 
from  the  two  great  medieval  empires  of  the  Levant,  the  Saracer 


and  the  East  Roman,  is  by  all  odds  the  most  pregnant  fact  of 
their  existence.  They  were  the  immediate  heirs  of  a  part  of 
the  territory  and  of  the  whole  of  the  culture  of  the  Seljuk  Turks. 
The  scene  of  the  "  world's  debate  "  formed  but  an  insignificant 
part  of  their  dominions.  They  gathered  into  one  net  all  the 
shoal  of  feudal,  royal,  and  imperial  powers  which  made  the 
Levant  of  the  thirteenth  century  as  decentralized  as  the  Holy 
Roman  Empire  or  the  Italy  of  the  fifteenth  century. 

Character  and  Mission  of  the  Ottoman  Empire 

This  rapid  survey  leads  to  a  number  of  significant  observations. 
First,  the  Ottoman  Turks  of  the  sixteenth  century  ruled  countries 
wholly  within  the  sphere  of  the  Mediterranean  civilization. 
The  only  possible  exception  was  the  steppe  lands  north  of  the 
Black  Sea;  but  these  had  been  almost  as  much  under  the  sway 
of  Rome  and  Constantinople  as  they  ever  were  under  that  of 
Stamboul.  Even  communication  with  Eastern  and  Southern 
Asia  was  well-nigh  cut  off.  The  road  to  China  north  of  the 
Caspian  Sea  alone  remained  open,  but  after  the  break-up  of 
the  Mongol  Empire  it  had  become  long  and  dangerous.  The 
rival  and  hostile  New  Persian  power  firmly  closed  the  southern 
land  route  to  India  and  China;  and  even  the  sea-way  from 
Egypt  eastward  was  blockaded  by  the  newly-arrived  Portuguese. 
Thus  the  Ottoman  Empire,  except  in  remote  origins,  which, 
indeed,  profoundly  influenced  it,  grew  and  flourished  within 
what  is  commonly  considered  the  main  field  of  history.  Accord- 
ingly, it  has  a  greater  claim  upon  the  Western  world  on  the  score 
of  kinship  than  has  hitherto  generally  been  allowed. 

Second,  within  the  Mediterranean  civilization  the  Ottoman 
Empire  combined  regions  of  both  Orient  and  Occident.  The 
classical  world  knew  chiefly  Romans,  Greeks,  and  Orientals. 
The  Ottoman  Turk  succeeded  to  two-thirds  of  this  world,  the 
lands  of  Greece  and  the  East.  From  the  day  of  Issus  to  the  day 
of  Menzikert,  Asia  Minor  had  to  all  intents  and  purposes  been 
a  part  of  Europe.  After  Menzikert  it  became  a  center  of  Turk- 
ish rule,  to  which,  in  the  course  of  time,  territories  from  both 
Asia  and  Europe  were  added  in  widening  circles.    No  deep 


knowledge  of  historical  forces  is  necessary  to  suggest  that  neither 
in  Southern  Europe  nor  in  Asia  Minor  itself  could  the  teachings 
of  fourteen  centuries  or  more  be  obUterated  in  five  centuries  or 
less,  or  even  in  an  eternity;  nor  would  they  fail  to  exert  a  pro- 
found influence  from  the  moment  of  conquest.  To  regard  the 
Ottoman  Empire  as  a  mere  Oriental  state  would  be  to  misread 
history  and  to  misunderstand  human  nature.  Its  lands  were 
of  both  Orient  and  Occident,  so  also  were  its  people,  so  also  were 
its  culture  and  its  government. 

Third,  the  Ottoman  Turks  drew  men  and  ideas  from  both 
Mohammedans  and  Christians.  They  have  commonly  been 
regarded  as  wholly  Mohammedan,  and  therefore  they  have 
been  shut  off  by  a  well-nigh  impenetrable  barrier  from  the  sym- 
pathies of  a  world  still  possessed  by  the  prejudices  of  crusading 
days.  The  foundations  of  such  prejudices  are  easily  open  to 
attack.  The  main  religious  ideas  of  Mohammedanism  are  not, 
except  as  to  the  divinity  of  Christ,  inharmonious  with  those  of 
Christianity;  they  were,  indeed,  in  all  probability  drawn  chiefly 
from  the  reUgious  teachings  of  the  Old  Testament.  The  social 
system  of  Mohammedanism  is  also  much  like  that  of  the  Old 
Testament.  Its  most  objectionable  features,  the  seclusion  of 
women,  polygamy,  and  slavery,  may  be  regarded  as  survivals 
from  an  older  condition  of  mankind  out  of  which  a  portion  of 
the  human  race  has  emerged  —  not  without  frequent  cases  of 
atavism  —  and  which  Mohammedans  themselves  are  tending 
to  abandon.  But,  leaving  aside  the  question  of  the  kinship  of 
Christianity  and  Mohammedanism,  no  one  can  deny  that  the 
Ottomans  ruled  over  many  Christians,  that  many  of  their 
ablest  men  and  families  were  of  Christian  ancestry,  and  that, 
according  to  the  nature  of  humanity,  as  much  of  their  civihzation 
and  ruling  ideas  may  have  come  from  Christian  as  from  Moham- 
medan sources. 

It  is  true  that  as  a  nation  the  Ottoman  Turks  remained  Mo- 
hammedan; this  has  constituted  the  real  "  tragedy  of  the  Turk." 
Bound  hand  and  foot  by  that  scholastic  Mohammedanism  which 
was  reaching  rigid  perfection  at  the  time  when  the  Turks  first 
became  prominent  in  the  Saracen  Empire,  and  which  only  in 


very  recent  days  seems  tending  toward  a  Reformation,  they 
could  not  amalgamate  the  subject  Christian  peoples,  already 
confirmed  in  nationalism  by  the  events  of  centuries.  The 
deadening  system  stilled  their  active  spirits,  imprisoned  their 
extraordinary  adaptability,  and  held  them  at  a  stage  of  culture 
which,  though  in  some  respects  it  distinctly  led  Europe  in  the 
sixteenth  century,  was  before  long  passed  through  and  left 
behind  by  the  progressive  West.  Nevertheless,  the  Turks 
were  no  more  limited  to  Mohammedan  ideas  than  to  Moham- 
medan men,  and  they  are  entitled  to  be  considered  in  the  light 
of  their  double  origin. 

Fourth  and  last,  the  great  task  before  the  Ottoman  Turks 
was  a  work  of  unification.  Lands  which  had  been  united  under 
the  great  Theodosius,  and  then  during  eleven  centuries  had  been 
more  and  more  disintegrated  by  invasion  of  German,  Slav,  Arab, 
Tatar,  and  Turk,  by  war  of  Byzantine,  Persian,  Moslem,  Cru- 
sader, and  Mongol,  by  destruction  of  roads  and  safe  water-routes, 
and  by  general  decay  of  civilization,  until  confusion  and  disorder 
reigned  and  anarchy  seemed  not  far  ahead  —  these  lands  were 
once  more  brought  under  a  single  control.  Was  it  their  destiny 
to  be  genuinely  reunited,  not  merely  in  a  common  subjection, 
not  merely  by  an  external  shell  of  authority,  but  in  the  pulsing 
life  of  a  vigorous  nation,  harmonious  in  every  part  and  run 
through  by  patriotism  ?  This  was  the  well-nigh  insoluble 
problem  which  the  Ottoman  Turks  attempted  bravely.  How 
they  solved  the  administrative  and  governmental  phase  of  it 
the  present  treatise  will  try  to  show.  Religious  unity  was 
out  of  the  question;  and  in  the  sixteenth  century,  in  East  and 
West  ahke,  social  and  cultural  unity  waited  upon  the  religious. 
Had  the  Ottoman  Empire  been  able  four  hundred  years  ago  to 
set  apart  religious  considerations  as  matters  for  the  individual  — 
a  process  which  affords  the  chief  hope  of  the  new  Turkey  of  the 
twentieth  century  —  her  whole  subsequent  history  must  have 
been  very  different. 

But  in  the  measure  in  which  unity  was  attained  in  the  Levant 
under  the  Ottoman  authority,  in  that  measure  did  the  Ottoman 
Empire  render  service  to  civilization  and  humanity.     After  the 


dose  of  the  thirteenth  century  Western  Europe,  absorbed  in  its 
own  affairs,  was  able  to  give  little  attention  to  the  East.  Two 
centuries  were  taken  up  with  the  consolidation  of  national  powers, 
chiefly  at  the  expense  of  feudalism  and  the  medieval  church. 
By  the  sixteenth  century  a  measure  of  internal  solidarity  had 
been  attained  and  the  struggle  for  external  supremacy  over  the 
West  had  been  begun.  The  whole  situation  was  complicated 
by  the  actively  leavening  force  of  the  New  Learning  and  the 
explosively  rending  force  of  the  Reformation.  Under  such 
circumstances  even  the  advance  of  the  Turks  into  Central 
Europe  could  only  temporarily  divert  attention  from  absorbing 
problems  and  direct  it  toward  the  East.  To  what  a  state  of 
minute  division  and  infinite  disorder  the  Levant  would  have 
come  by  that  time,  had  the  Ottoman  Empire  not  grown  up, 
can  only  be  imagined.  Egypt,  the  only  Levantine  power  of 
consequence  after  the  close  of  the  crusades,  had  reached  the 
natural  limits  of  her  dominion,  and  had  she  aimed  at  wider 
conquests  the  Mameluke  government  would  scarcely  have  been 
capable  of  imperial  sway.  No  other  of  the  countless  princi- 
palities of  the  eastern  Mediterranean  showed  enough  Hfe  to 
accomplish  unity.  But  the  Ottoman  Turks,  cruelly  and  destruc- 
tively, imperfectly  and  clumsily,  yet  surely  and  effectively, 
built  up  and  maintained  a  single  authority,  to  which  the  world 
probably  owes  most  of  that  measure  of  enlightenment,  culture, 
and  order  which  can  be  found  in  the  Levant  today. 

The  Racial  Descent  of  the  Ottoman  Turks 

The  question  as  to  the  origin  of  the  Ottoman  Turks  was  raised 
in  Western  Europe  as  soon  as  the  race  began  to  appear  upon  the 
stage  of  history.  There  seemed  to  be  something  mysterious  and 
uncanny  about  their  rise  to  power.  If  an  innumerable  horde 
of  strange  barbarians,  a  second  invasion  of  Attila,  had  overrun 
the  Levant  and  settled  down  to  rule  its  conquests,  cause  and 
effect  would  have  been  apparent.  But  this  nation  seemed  to 
arise  out  of  the  earth.  Organized  and  disciplined  beyond  any 
parallel  in  the  West,  it  seemed  to  come  from  nowhere  and  to 


begin  at  once  to  take  a  very  real  part  in  human  affairs.*  The 
problem  of  its  origin  is  by  no  means  completely  solved  as  yet, 
but  the  main  elements  can  perhaps  be  outlined.  A  search  for 
these  carries  the  inquiry  to  the  steppe  lands. 

The  great  band  of  open  country  which  stretches  with  hardly 
a  break  across  the  whole  of  Asia  and  far  into  Europe  resembles 
the  ocean  both  in  its  vastness  and  in  its  character  as  an  inter- 
mediate region  through  which  the  travel  of  commerce,  states- 
manship, religion,  learning,  and  curiosity  can  pass  between  more 
thickly-settled  lands.  It  differs  from  the  ocean,  however,  in 
being  everywhere  more  or  less  habitable.  The  ethnic  relations 
of  its  families,  tribes,  and  nations  are  by  no  means  clear.  China, 
with  a  markedly  Mongolian  population,  lay  at  the  east  and  south- 
east; Indo-Europeans  of  the  Caucasian  race  dwelt  at  the  south- 
west and  west.  The  tribes  between  seem  from  the  earliest  re- 
corded times  to  have  presented  every  intermediate  stage  of 
physical  type,  as  they  do  now;  and  in  general  the  shading  from 
yellow  to  white  appears  to  have  proceeded  regularly  from  east  to 
west,  a  circumstance  that  may  have  been  due  largely  to  climatic 
influence,  but  was  probably  far  more  the  result  of  admixture.^ 
These  peoples  were  given  to  frequent  warfare,  one  of  whose 
objects  was  the  capture  of  men,  women,  and  children  as  the  most 
valuable  booty.     They  seem  to  have  had  no  race  aversions  that 

'  The  West  was  much  concerned  in  the  sixteenth  century  with  the  problem  of 
ascertaining  the  origin  of  the  Turks.  Balbus  gives  an  idea  how  difficult  it  was 
to  reach  a  definite  opinion:  "  Some  count  the  Turks  among  the  Asiatic  Sarma- 
tians,  and  say  that  they  were  expelled  by  their  neighbors  from  the  Caspian  moun- 
tains into  Persia,  and  descended  into  Asia  Minor.  Others,  following  the  name, 
perhaps,  think  that  this  people  had  its  beginning  in  Turce,  a  great  and  opulent 
city  of  the  Persians.  Others  consider  them  the  progeny  of  the  Parthians.  Some 
think  the  Turks  had  their  origin  in  Arabia,  and  some  in  Syria.  But  it  is  more  likely 
that  they  were  Scythians  by  origin,  and  (as  we  said  above)  from  the  foot  of  Mount 
Caucasus,  and  that  they  formerly  inhabited  vast  deserts."     See  also  KnoUes, 


^  Keane,  Mayi,  Past  and  Present,  268,  314-315.  Holdich  (in  Encyclopaedia 
Britannica,  nth  ed.,  ii.  749  b)  says,  "  .-^s  ethnographical  inquiry  advances  the 
Turk  appears  to  recede  from  his  Mongolian  affinities  and  to  approach  the 
Caucasian."  Keene  {Turks  in  India,  i  ff.)  is  inclined  to  consider  the  Turks  a 
mere  mixture  of  Mongols  with  Caucasians.  So  bald  a  theory  does  not  account 
for  the  group  of  Turkish  languages. 


would  hinder  inter-mixture,  and  no  race  pride  that  would  prevent 
captives,  in  the  course  of  time,  from  attaining  full  equality  in 
any  rank  to  which  their  abilities  could  carry  them.  Accordingly, 
the  process  of  admixture  that  can  be  observed  in  historic  times 
has  probably  been  followed  from  the  remote  past. 

The  name  Tatars  may  be  used  to  designate  all  the  inhabitants 
of  the  steppe-ocean  who  were  not  distinctly  Caucasian.  By 
geographical  designation  they  are  properly  called  the  Ural- 
Altaic  peoples,  while  ethnically  they  constitute  the  Mongolo- 
Turki  group. ^  Included  perhaps  among  those  unclassified 
peoples  who  were  known  of  old  to  the  Greek  as  Scythians,  to  the 
Persians  as  Turanians,  and  to  the  Chinese  as  Hiung-nu,  the 
Tatars,  despite  many  differences,  show  unmistakable  kinship, 
usually  in  their  physical  features,  always  in  their  language  and 
institutions.  They  have  been  grouped  since  medieval  times 
into  two  great  divisions,  the  Mongols  and  the  Turks.  This 
division  may  be  said  to  correspond  in  a  very  general  way  to  their 
greater  and  lesser  resemblance  to  the  Chinese,  and  to  a  narrower 
and  wider  geographical  separation  from  China.  Many  tribes 
possess  such  intermediate  characteristics  that  they  cannot 
easily  be  classified  as  Turks  or  Mongols;  ^  but  a  tribe  that  is 
markedly  hke  the  Chinese  is  clearly  Mongol,  and  a  tribe  that 
differs  widely  from  the  Chinese  is  clearly  Turkish.  If  these 
explanations  be  adopted,  the  Turkish  peoples  are  then  in  general 
those  Tatars  who  have  had  the  greatest  admixture  of  Caucasian 
blood.  Their  original  seat  seems  to  have  been  in  MongoHa, 
but  in  historic  times  they  had  come  to  occupy  the  whole  central 
part  of  the  steppe  region,  from  the  Desert  of  Gobi  to  the  Volga, 
in  contact  with  their  Mongol  kindred  on  the  east  and  with 
Iranians  on  the  south  and  Slavs  on  the  west.  The  theory  of 
admixture  receives  support  from  the  fact  that  the  peoples  of  the 
Mediterranean  civilization  found  MongoHans  repulsive  in  appear- 
ance, but  prized  Turkish  slaves  for  their  beauty.^ 

The  name  Turk  does  not  appear  prominently  in  the  Byzantine 
and  Chinese  annals  before  the  fifth  century  a.d.,  when  the  people 

^  Keane,  267.  ^  Ibid.  322;  Hammer,  Geschichle,  i.  3. 

^  Ibid.  317. 


of  a  Tatar  empire  were  designated  TovpKot  and  Tu-kin}  The 
word  Turcae  was  used  by  classical  writers  soon  after  the  begin- 
ning of  the  Christian  era.^  The  name  has  been  suspected  of 
lying  hidden  in  the  Targitaos  of  Herodotus  and  the  Togharniah 
of  Scriptures,  However  this  may  be,  ancestral  peoples  possess- 
ing the  characteristics  of  the  Turks  of  course  existed,  and  perhaps 
appeared  in  history,  in  very  early  times. 

Some  have  suggested  that  the  Sumero-Accadians  of  Babylonia 
were  Turks,  but  this  question  hardly  bears  on  the  present  subject. 
The  relations  of  Turks  and  Persians  on  the  Central  Asian  frontier 
is  much  more  apropos.  The  legends  of  the  long  wars  of  Iran 
and  Turan,  however  little  detailed  historical  value  they  may 
have,  illustrate  the  circumstances  of  continual  contact  both  in 
war  and  in  peace.^  Princes  and  nobles  whose  lives  were  forfeit 
in  their  own  country  fled  over  the  border;  princesses  were 
exchanged  in  marriage;  and  unnumbered  thousands  of  less 
exalted  folk  passed  the  frontier  as  captives  or  slaves.  The 
frontier  itself  was  not  fixed,  but  left  great  regions  now  to  the 
rule  of  the  Persian  and  now  to  the  rule  of  the  Turk.  The  Par- 
thians  may  have  been  Turks.'*    After  their  downfall  the  Knes 

*  Keane,  322;  Hammer,  Geschkhle,  i.  2;  etc. 

2  Hammer,  Geschkhle,  i.  i.  This  fact,  known  to  KnoUes  (p.  2),  seems  to  have 
escaped  the  attention  of  Sir  Charles  Eliot  {^Encyclopaedia  Britatmka,  nth  ed., 
xxvii.  470  d). 

2  The  older  view,  that  Iran  represented  peoples  of  Indo-European  stock,  and 
Turan  peoples  of  Ural-Altaic  stock,  though  once  so  generally  adopted  as  to  sanction 
the  bestowal  of  the  names  Iranian  and  Turanian  upon  these  groups  of  peoples, 
has  been  abandoned  as  regards  the  orii^inal  legends,  in  which  Turan  seems  to  have 
represented  ruder  tribes  of  Indo-European  lineage  (Meyer,  Geschiihte,  i.  pt.  ii. 
814-815).  But  the  Greeks  from  their  first  acquaintance  with  the  name  identi- 
fied Turan  with  the  Scythians,  and  at  about  the  same  time  the  Persians  began  to 
apply  it  to  the  Northern  peoples  of  alien  stock.  The  conditions  of  frontier  contact 
between  Turks  and  Persians  during  many  centuries  were  undoubtedly  as  described 
in  the  legends. 

*  Rawlinson,  Parthia,  33-35;  Keane,  319.  Meyer  (in  Encyclopaedia  Britan- 
nica,  nth  ed.,  xxi.  214  c)  regards  the  Parni  or  Apami,  who  became  the  conquer- 
ing tribe  in  Parthia,  as  Iranian  nomads;  but  Peisker  (in  Cambridge  Medieval 
History,  i.  332)  asserts  that  the  nomads  of  the  Asiatic  background  all  belong  to 
the  Altaian  branch  of  the  Ural-Altaian  race.  The  fact  that  the  Parthian  army 
was  a  slave  army  (see  Meyer,  as  above,  217  a)  is  perhaps  the  strongest  piece  of 
evidence  that  the  original  Parthians  were  Turks. 


of  Persian  and  Turk  were  drawn  sharply  by  the  nationalist 
Sassanians.  From  the  middle  of  the  fifth  century,  indeed,  the 
Persians  had  their  fill  of  wars  with  the  Ephthalites,  whose  appel- 
lation of  White  Huns  may  indicate  their  mixed  MongoHan  and 
Caucasian  origin;  the  Chinese  annals  specify  the  kinship  of  the 
Tie-le  with  the  Tu-kiu.  No  sooner  had  the  Arabs  engulfed 
Persia  than  they  began  to  welcome  the  Turks  whom  they  found 
to  the  north,  and  whose  semi-nomadic  culture  was  singularly 
like  their  own.  The  Saracen  Empire  was  administered  for  about 
a  century  chiefly  by  Arabs,  for  another  century  chiefly  by  Per- 
sians, and  after  that  chiefly  by  Turks,  who  rose  rapidly  through 
slavery  and  military  service  to  the  rule  of  provinces  and  even 
of  kingdoms.  Thus  great  numbers  of  Turks  came  or  were 
brought  into  many  parts  of  Western  Asia.  When  Toghrul, 
grandson  of  Seljuk,  led  the  first  great  Turkish  invasion  into  the 
heart  of  the  Saracen  Empire,  he  found  his  kindred  everywhere. 
Under  the  Seljuk  Sultans  large  numbers  of  Turks  streamed  in 
and  were  settled  in  Persia,  Azerbaijan,  Syria,  and  Asia  Minor. 

The  Turkish  occupation  of  Asia  Minor  has  been  called  the 
most  thorough  piece  of  work  done  by  the  race.^  Few  details 
of  it  have  been  recorded,  but  one  great  fact  stands  out:  under 
the  Byzantine  Empire,  Asia  Minor  was  Greek,  Christian,  and 
the  home  of  the  empire's  most  vigorous  and  loyal  citizens;  under 
the  Ottoman  Empire,  Asia  Minor  is  Turkish,  Mohammedan, 
and  the  home  of  the  empire's  most  vigorous  and  faithful  subjects. 
The  process  of  this  transformation,  so  far  as  it  is  known,  deserves 

Seljuk  and  Ottoman  Turks  in  Asia  Minor 

The  Seljuk  Turks  were  orthodox,  and  often  fanatical,  Mos- 
lems; accordingly  they  put  great  pressure  upon  the  inhabitants 
of  the  peninsula  to  make  them  exchange  Christ  for  Mohammed. 
"  Great  numbers  apostatized,  *  many  thousand  children  were 
marked  by   the   knife   of   circumcision;    and    many    thousand 

1  Keane,  327.  Asia  Minor  is  here  used  in  the  larger  sense,  as  denoting  in 
general  the  Asian  territory  which  lies  west  of  a  line  drawn  from  the  eastern  end  of 
the  Black  Sea  to  the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  Alexandretta. 


captives  were  devoted  to  the  service  or  the  pleasures  of  their 
masters.^ '  " 

The  Seljuk  Turks  were  already  a  mixed  race,  and  had  no  greater 
objection  than  their  ancestors  to  the  reception  of  new  members. 
They  had  come  as  a  Turkish  army  followed  by  a  host  of  Tur- 
coman nomads.2    The  soldiers  took  wives  from  the  women  of 
the  land  and  servants  from  the  men  and  children,  and  the  nomads 
filled  the  gaps  left  among  their  women  and  children  after  the 
long,  hard  journey.     Those  of  the  adult  Anatolians  who  were 
left  free  found  a  thousand  temporal  advantages  in  following 
the  Prophet,  whose  simple  faith  and  consoling  doctrines,  more- 
over, suited  both  their  temperament  and  their  circumstances. 
Christianity  had  sat  hghtly  upon  many  of  them,  and  Moham- 
medanism seems  to  have  been  accepted  as  lightly;    for  traces 
of  Christian  and  perhaps  of  pre-Christian  practices  and  behefs 
can  be  seen  among  the  Moslems  of  Asia  Minor  today. ^    To  turn 
Moslem  was  then,  as  ever  since,  to  turn  Turk.     In  the  course 
of  three  centuries  the  process  of  settlement  and  conversion 
reached  virtual  completion ;  nearly  all  the  plateau  of  Asia  Minor 
became    Mohammedan    and    Turkish.     Nothing    approaching 
the  nature  of  statistics  is  available  for  determining  what  the 
proportion  was  between  invading  Turks  and  converted  Christians. 
The  probabilities,  based  on  the  known  character  of  Turkish 
invasions  and  the  length  and  difficulty  of  the  journey  from  the 
steppe  lands,  point  to  a  relatively  small  number  of  Turkish 
settlers.^     Yet  this  doubly-mixed  people  has  contributed  those 
subjects  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  who  are  accounted  the  most 
characteristically  Turkish. 

The  invasion  of  Western  Asia  by  the  Mongols  of  Genghis 
Khan  in  the  early  part  of  the  thirteenth  century  drove  an  un- 

^  Quoted  in  Kcane,  328,  from  Gibbon  (cd.  Bun'),  \\.  250. 

*  Vambery,  Die  Primitive  Cultiir,  47;  Keane,  328;  Cahun,  Introduction,  169  fl.; 
Ramsay,  Studies  in  Eastern  Roman  Provinces,  295. 

8  Ramsay,  Studies  in  Eastern  Roman  Provinces,  297.  This  statement  has  been 
confirmed  by  conversation  w'xXh.  other  persons  well  acquainted  with  conditions  in 
Asia  M  inor.  See  also  E.  Huntington,  in  National  Geographic  Magazine,  September, 
1910,  p.  767. 

*  Vambery  {Die  Primitive  Cultur,  47)  expresses  the  opinion  that  the  Ottomans 
never  received,  all  told,  more  than  25,000  men  of  Turkish  blood. 


known  number  of  Persians  and  Turks  to  take  refuge  in  Asia 
Minor.  Among  these  is  said  to  have  been  a  group  led  by  a 
chief  named  Suleiman,  whose  grandson  Osman  gave  the  Otto- 
mans their  name.^  This  group  reached  the  Seljuk  kingdom  of 
Rum,  and  was  allowed  by  good  custom  of  the  time  to  proceed 
to  the  Christian  frontier  and  conquer  what  it  could.  About 
the  time  of  settlement  tradition  specifies  the  number  as  four 
hundred  famihes,  or  444  horsemen,  a  figure  which  has  clearly 
been  shaped  with  reference  to  the  sacred  number  four,  but  which 
shows  the  behef  that  the  group  was  not  large.^  The  growth  of 
this  band  was  far  more  rapid  than  could  have  been  accomphshed 
by  natural  increase.  A  part  of  the  additional  membership  was 
suppHed  by  Turks  and  other  Moslems  of  adventurous  spirit 
who  sought  the  fighting  and  booty  of  the  border-land.  But 
these  were  by  no  means  all.  The  Ottoman  traditions  and  history 
reveal  at  countless  places  the  hospitable  incorporating  spirit 
of  the  embryonic  nation,  which  rapidly  increased  its  numbers 
from  the  Christian  population  by  conversion,  marriage,  and 
capture,  and  most  strikingly  by  the  tribute  tax  of  Christian 
male  children.  The  Ottoman  conquests  to  the  eastward  brought 
gradually  into  the  brotherhood  all  the  Seljuk  Turks  of  Asia 
Minor,  and  as  many  as  were  or  became  Mohammedan  from  the 
various  conquered  peoples  —  Greeks  of  Trebizond,  Armenians, 
Syrians,  and  others.  The  conquests  in  Europe  converted  en 
masse  some  sections  of  Bulgarians  and  Albanians,  who  still 
show  evidence  of  their  origin ;  a  very  great  number  of  individuals 
among  the  subject  Christians,  however,  were  so  completely 
incorporated  as  to  lose  all  trace  of  their  source.  Thousands 
upon  thousands  of  captives  from  the  whole  of  Southeastern 
Europe,  from  all  of  Southern  Russia  and  Poland,  from  the 
Caucasus  region,  from  Central  Europe  as  far  as  Regensburg 
and  Friule,  and  from  the  shores  and  islands  of  the  IMediterranean 
were  likewise  incorporated;  till,  as  a  result  of  all  this  Western 
admixture,    the   ruling   nationahty    of    the   Ottoman    Empire, 

^  Ottoman  is  an  attempt  to  pronounce  Othman  by  those  who  pronounce  th  like  t; 
Osman  a  similar  attempt  by  those  who  pronounce  th  (as  in  "  thin  ")  like  5. 
2  Hammer,  Geschkhte,  i.  42-43. 


though  called  Turkish  today,  retains  no  physical  trace  whatever 
of  Mongolian  ancestry.^  Many  of  its  members  undoubtedly 
have  no  Tatar  blood  in  their  veins;  as  for  the  rest,  they  are, 
if  the  above  discussion  be  well  founded,  a  mixture  of  Europeans 
chiefly  with  Turks  of  Asia  Minor,  who  were  themselves  a  mixture 
of  the  former  Christian  population  with  Seljuk  Turks,  while 
these  again  were  a  mixture  dating  back  through  countless  ages 
of  contact  between  the  white  and  the  yellow  races.  A  simple 
computation  will  illustrate  the  matter.  Osman  is  said  to  have 
captured  a  fair  Greek  lady  named  Nenuphar,  or  Nilufer,  the 
Lotus-flower,  and  to  have  given  her  as  bride  to  his  son  Orchan, 
the  first  of  the  Ottoman  sultans.-  From  that  time  it  became 
increasingly  the  policy  of  the  sultans  to  take  their  wives  from  the 
Caucasian  race.^  If  Orchan  be  set  down  as  of  pure  Mongolian 
descent,  and  if  it  be  supposed,  as  is  certainly  very  near  the  truth, 
that  all  the  mothers  of  succeeding  sultans  were  not  of  Turkish 
blood,  and  if  the  mother  be  assumed  to  contribute  to  the  child 
an  influence  equal  to  the  father's,  the  proportion  of  Mongolian 
blood  in  the  veins  of  the  reigning  sultan,  who  is  of  the  twentieth 
generation  from  Orchan,  can  readily  be  calculated,  —  about 
one  part  in  one  million.''     Similar  proportions  would  hold  good 

*  Keane,  268,  316.  Peschel,  380,  says,  "The  Turks  of  the  west  have  so 
much  Aryan  and  Semitic  blood  in  them  that  the  last  vestiges  of  their  original 
physical  characters  have  been  lost,  and  their  language  alone  indicates  their  previous 
descent."  On  the  other  hand,  E.  Huntington  (in  National  Geographic  Magazine, 
September,  1910,  p.  767)  expresses  the  opinion  that  the  inhabitants  of  the  central 
part  of  the  plateau  of  Asia  Minor  are  "  almost  purely  Turkish  in  race."  He  does 
not  say,  however,  that  this  opinion  is  based  on  observation  of  physical  appearances. 

2  Hammer,  Geschichte,  i.  59. 

'  Keene,  2,  makes  the  interesting  suggestion  that  this  custom,  followed 
mutatis  mutandis  by  the  Moguls  of  India,  was  a  survival  of  exogamous  conditions 
among  the  ancestors  of  the  Turks. 

*  The  twentieth  power  of  §  is  1/1,148,576.  The  description  given  of  Orchan, 
furthermore,  shows  scarcely  a  discernible  trace  of  Mongolian  ancestrj'.  Compare 
Hammer,  Geschichte,  i.  158:  "  Mit  demselben  [Osman]  waren  ihm  zwar  die 
Bocksnase  und  die  schon  gewolbtcn  schwarzen  Augenbrauncn  gemcin;  aber  er 
hatte  blonde  Haare  und  lichte  Augcn,  die  Statur  und  die  Slirne  hoch,  die  Brust 
breit,  die  Faust  kriiftig  wie  die  Klaue  des  Lowen,  das  Gesicht  rund  und  die  Farbe 
desselben  weiss  und  roth;  dor  Korperbau  stark,  der  Bart  und  Knebclbart  dicht 
und  wohlgenahrt."  Murad  II  showed  a  little  more  evidence  of  Tatar  descent. 
He  "  is,"  says  La  Broquiere,  181,  "  a  man  of  stout  build  and  short  body,  and  he 


for  many  of  the  Osmanli  Turks.  Probably  the  nation  as  a 
whole  has  no  more  of  Tatar  blood  than  the  American  nation 
has  of  Norman. 

The  Sources  of  Ottoman  Culture 

The  question  at  once  arises:  What  significance,  then,  has 
the  name  Turk  as  applied  to  modern  Turkey  ?  To  this  query 
a  general  answer  only  can  be  given  here,  as  part  of  a  rough 
statement  in  regard  to  the  derivation  of  the  main  elements  of 
Ottoman  culture. 

Of  the  whole  body  of  ideas  and  institutions  and  intangible 
inheritances  possessed  by  the  Ottoman  Turks  in  the  sixteenth 
century,  no  small  number  of  the  most  fundamental  ones  were 
derived  from  the  remote  Tatar  ancestors  of  a  part  of  the  nation, 
from  whom  even  this  part  was  far  separated  in  time  and  space. 
Foremost  among  these  inheritances  is  the  Turkish  language, 
which  in  its  principles  of  monosyllabic  stem,  inflexion  by  post- 
fixes alone,  and  assonance,  and  in  its  general  system  of  grammar 
and  body  of  words  of  ordinary  life,  has  survived  from  the  early 
days  through  all  vicissitudes.^  Old  Turkish  is  the  Anglo-Saxon 
of  the  Osmanli,  as  Persian  is  his  Greek  and  Arabic  his  Latin. 
Somewhat  more  hospitable  than  those  who  use  Western  lan- 
guages, the  Turk  has  nearly  always  accepted  with  a  foreign 
thing  its  foreign  name;  and  the  great  majority  of  the  foreign 
words  and  phrases  so  accepted  he  has  not  changed  in  any  way, 
except  to  modify  the  pronunciation  of  some  sounds  about  which 
the  tongue  does  not  readily  curl.  Among  other  Tatar  bequests 
to  the  Osmanlis  may  be  named  the  hospitable  assimilative 
tendency  to  which  reference  has  already  been  made;  a  predis- 
position to  war  and  conquest,  accompanied  by  an  openness  of 
mind  as  to  the  best  methods  and  means  of  prevaihng;  an  ability 
and  inclination  to  govern,  combined  with  great  adaptability  as 
to  methods  and  means;  and  some  acquaintance  with  systematic 

has  something  of  the  broad  face  of  a  Tatar's  physiognomy,  and  he  has  a  rather 
large  hooked  nose  and  rather  small  eyes,  and  he  is  very  brown  in  the  face,  and  he  has 
plump  cheeks  and  a  round  beard." 
^  Keane,  266. 


and  bureaucratic  methods  of  government  impressed  upon 
the  nation  by  the  Chinese.  Again,  the  Tatars,  possessed  of  the 
tenacious  conservatism  of  a  primitive  people,  predisposed  the 
Ottomans  to  a  close  adherence  to  custom  —  to  the  doctrine 
that,  when  a  thing  had  been  done  once  in  a  certain  way,  it  should 
always  thereafter  be  done  in  the  same  way.  Finally,  the  Tatars 
contributed  various  elements  of  the  national  character,  such  as  a 
touch  of  the  old  love  of  nomad  life,  a  certain  stolidity  of  spirit 
and  calm  sobriety  of  temper  (taught,  perhaps,  by  the  vastness 
of  the  steppe  in  comparison  with  the  littleness  of  man),  and  a 
lack  of  originality  which  hindered  the  construction  of  freely- 
borrowed  ideas  into  new  forms  of  higher  relation.  In  general, 
therefore,  the  foundations  of  the  national  character  of  the  Otto- 
mans were  laid  in  the  early  days,  in  a  body  of  ideas  which  was 
passed  down  continuously  from  man  to  man,  not  so  much  through 
blood-relationship  as  through  willing  acceptance  or  enforced 

The  nature  of  a  Tatar  nation  in  the  steppe  lands,  manifesting 
many  of  the  elements  mentioned  above,  is  extremely  significant 
as  foreshadowing  some  features  of  the  Ottoman  government. 
A  Tatar  nation  was  a  voluntary  association,  independent  of 
kinship,  formed  about  a  promising  leader,  and  interested  in 
war  and  conquest;  thus  it  might  grow  with  extreme  rapidity 
until  the  geographical  extent  of  its  dominion  would  be  marvel- 
lous. The  empire  of  the  Tu-kiu,  for  example,  gathered  in  about 
twenty-five  years  after  its  foundation  territories  which  reached 
from  China  proper  to  the  confines  of  the  Byzantine  Empire. 
The  leader  of  such  a  nation  maintained  his  control  by  the  right 
voluntarily  given  him  to  punish  treason  and  conspiracy  by  death ;  ^ 
when  his  controlling  hand  grew  weak,  the  nation  went  to  pieces. 
"  A  Turkish  tribe  could  maintain  a  political  organization  and  a 
compact  grouping  only  by  war;  without  benefits  from  pillage 
and  tributes,  it  would  be  obliged  to  dissolve  and  to  disperse  by 
clans,  whose  fractions  would  group  themselves  anew,  and  form 
another  nation  about  the  strongest  man.  ...     In  regard  to 

1  Compare  the  election  of  Sebuktegin,  in  Sch^fer's  edition  of  the  Siasset  Nameh, 



empires  like  those  of  the  Huns,  or  the  Turks,  military  associations 
without  ethnic  bonds,  one  cannot  say  that  they  dissolve;  they 
disband.  Reversing  the  custom  of  other  peoples,  with  the  Turks 
it  is  the  king  who  feeds  his  people,  who  clothes  them,  who  pays 
them."  ^  Add  to  this  system  a  loyalty  to  a  hereditary  leader 
which  makes  the  bonds  of  union  permanent,  and  the  description 
would  apply  fairly  well  to  the  growing  Ottoman  nation.  A 
passage  from  the  Kudatku  Bilik  applies  yet  more  closely,  since 
it  shows  a  mihtary  government  in  the  midst  of  a  subject  popula- 
tion :  2  — 

"In  order  to  hold  a  land  one  needs  troops  and  men; 
In  order  to  keep  troops  one  must  divide  out  property; 
In  order  to  have  property  one  needs  a  rich  people; 
Only  laws  create  the  riches  of  a  people: 
If  one  of  these  be  lacking  all  four  are  lacking; 
Where  all  four  are  lacking,  the  dominion  goes  to  pieces." 

The  ancient  Persian  seems  to  have  given  the  Ottoman  at  long 
range  a  number  of  his  ideas  of  government,  such  as  the  exaltation 
of  the  monarch,  the  separation  of  officials  of  the  court  from 
those  of  the  government  proper,  the  division  of  the  ministry 
into  five  departments,  the  council  of  state,  the  giving  of  large 
powers  to  local  governors,  and  the  beginnings  of  the  so-called 
"  legal  "  system  of  taxation.^  From  him  also  seems  to  have 
come  the  policy  of  allowing  subjects  who  professed  alien  religions 
to  form  separate  organizations,  which  lived  in  a  measure  under 
their  own  laws.  One  writer  goes  so  far  as  to  say:  "  All  investi- 
gations into  the  oldest  state  regulations  of  the  Orient,  into  the 
origin  of  monarchical  forms  and  constitutions,  into  the  cere- 
monial of  courts  and  the  hierarchy  of  ofi&cials,  lead  back  to  the 
great  kingdom  of  the  ancient  Persians,  from  whom  they  have 
come  down  more  or  less  modified,  to  the  Arabs,  who  sat  as 

*  Cahun,  Introduction,  79. 

2  Vambery,  Uigurische  Sprachmonumente  und  das  Kudatku  Bilik,  118.  This 
passage  closely  resembles  the  words  attributed  to  Artaxerxes  I,  first  king  of  the 
Sassanian  Persian  hne:  "  There  can  be  no  power  without  an  army,  no  army  without 
money,  no  money  without  agriculture,  and  no  agriculture  without  justice  "  (Raw- 
linson,  Seventh  Great  Oriental  Monarchy,  i.  6i). 

3  Hammer,  Staatsverjassung,  36-45. 


caliphs  on  the  thrones  of  the  three  continents,  to  the  Seljuk 
Turks  and  the  Byzantines,  who  at  the  same  time  grew  up  on  the 
ruins  of  the  Saracen  and  Roman  kingdoms  in  Asia  and  Europe, 
and  through  both  to  the  Ottomans  who  swallowed  up  the  king- 
doms of  Iconium  and  Byzantium."  ^  The  Sassanian  Persians 
handed  down  through  the  Moslems  the  completed  "  legal  " 
system  of  a  land  tax  of  two  sorts  based  on  cadasters,  and  a 
capitation  tax  levied  on  those  who  practised  a  foreign  religion. 
They  may  also  have  contributed  many  features  of  the  Ottoman 
feudal  system.  During  the  Abbassid  period  the  Persians  and 
the  Turks  who  gradually  displaced  the  Arabs  in  the  civil  and 
military  administration  of  the  Saracen  Empire  were  thrown  into 
very  close  contact  with  each  other.  It  was  only  natural,  there- 
fore, that  the  Persians,  who  possessed  the  more  advanced  cul- 
ture, should  influence  the  Turks  in  many  directions.  Their 
chief  direct  gift  lay  in  the  domain  of  poetry  and  literature, 
a  field  in  which  they  added  a  vast  number  of  words  and  ideas  to 
the  original  Turkish  stock. 

The  Saracens  gave  the  Ottomans  a  complete  religious  and  social 
system,  united  under  a  Sacred  Law  which  professed  to  provide 
for  all  relations  of  life,  and  which  became  more  and  more  rigid 
as  time  went  on.  Into  this  had  been  wrought  slowly  by  genera- 
tions of  learned  men  most  of  the  Persian  governmental  ideas 
that  have  been  mentioned,  together  with  others  from  Arabian 
and  Byzantine  sources,  such  as  a  species  of  laws  of  inheritance 
and  a  system  of  juristic  responses.  The  Saracens  gave  also  their 
alphabet  and  a  large  stock  of  Arabic  words.  All  that  the  Mos- 
lems gave  the  Ottomans  was  embodied  in  one  great,  complex 
institution,  which  was  founded  upon  an  elaborate  system  of 
education  and  supported  by  the  revenues  from  a  large  part  of 
the  land  of  the  empire,  and  which  possessed  great  sohdity  and 
an  almost  changeless  permanence.  In  the  Ottoman  Empire, 
as  in  all  other  Moslem  lands,  the  influence  of  this  completed 
institution  was  ultimately  very  injurious;  when  added  to  the 
Tatar  love  of  custom,  it  laid  a  heavy  hand  on  all  movements 
toward    improvement    and    progress.     Its    ultimate    attitude 

1  Ibid.  36. 


toward    earthly   affairs    is    well    expressed    in    the    following 
couplet:  — 

"  To  build  in  this  world  palaces  and  castles,  there  is  no  need; 
They  will  at  last  be  ruins:  to  build  cities,  there  is  no  need."  * 

A  development  which  took  place  among  the  Turks  within  the 
Saracen  Empire  was  of  the  profoundest  significance  to  Ottoman 
history.  From  some  date  in  the  early  ninth  century,  Turkish 
youth  were  brought  to  Bagdad  in  large  numbers  as  purchased, 
but  by  no  means  unwilling,  slaves.  Having  been  trained  as 
soldiers,  they  became  generals  and  local  governors,  and  after 
no  great  length  of  time  the  central  government  also  passed  into 
their  hands.  The  training  of  such  young  Turkish  slaves  in  the 
palaces  of  caliphs  and  governors  clearly  foreshadowed  Ottoman 
methods.  The  account  that  perhaps  looks  farthest  back  in  rela- 
tion to  the  Turks  is  found  in  the  Siasset  Nameh,  and  refers  to 
the  time  of  the  Samanid  dynasty,  which  ruled  in  East  Persia 
from  874  to  999.  It  describes  the  external  aspect  of  the  system 
of  education,  such  as  promotion  and  marks  of  honor,  but  leaves 
the  severe  work  which  lay  behind  to  be  inferred :  — 

"  This  is  the  rule  that  was  followed  at  the  court  of  the  Sama- 

"  They  advanced  slaves  gradually,  taking  account  of  their 
services,  their  courage,  and  their  merit.  Thus  a  slave  who 
had  just  been  purchased  served  for  one  year  on  foot.  Clothed 
in  a  cotton  tunic,  he  walked  beside  the  stirrup  of  his  chief;  they 
did  not  have  him  mount  on  horseback  either  in  public  or  in 
private,  and  he  would  be  punished  if  it  were  learned  that  he  had 
done  so.  When  his  first  year  of  service  was  ended,  the  head 
of  the  chamber  informed  the  chamberlain,  and  the  latter  gave  the 
slave  a  Turkish  horse  which  had  only  a  rope  in  its  mouth,  a 
bridle  and  a  halter  in  one.  When  he  had  served  one  year  on 
horseback,  whip  in  hand,  lie  was  given  a  leathern  girth  to  put 
about  the  horse.  The  fifth  year  they  gave  him  a  better  saddle, 
a  bridle  ornamented  with  stars,  a  tunic  of  cotton  mixed  with  silk, 
and  a  mace  which  he  suspended  by  a  ring  from  his  saddle-bow. 

^  Quoted  by  Cahun,  in  Lavisse  and  Rambaud,  iii.  964. 


In  the  sixth  year  he  received  a  garment  of  a  more  splendid  color; 
and  in  the  seventh  year,  they  gave  him  a  tent  held  up  by  a  pole 
and  fixed  by  sixteen  pegs:  he  had  three  slaves  in  his  suite,  and 
he  was  honored  with  the  title  of  head  of  a  chamber;  he  wore 
on  his  head  a  hat  of  black  felt  embroidered  with  silver  and  he  was 
clothed  with  a  silk  robe.  Every  year  he  was  advanced  in  place 
and  dignity;  his  retinue  and  his  escort  were  increased  until  the 
time  when  he  reached  the  rank  of  chief  of  squadron  and  finally 
that  of  chamberlain.  Though  his  capacity  and  merit  might  be 
generally  recognized,  though  he  had  done  some  noteworthy  deed 
and  had  acquired  universal  esteem  and  the  affection  of  his 
sovereign,  he  was  obliged  nevertheless  to  wait  until  the  age  of 
thirty-five  years  before  obtaining  the  title  of  e?nir  and  a  govern- 
ment." 1 

In  this  system  of  the  training  of  slaves  for  war  and  government 
lay  the  nucleus  of  the  fundamental  institution  of  the  Ottoman 
state,  which,  together  with  the  institution  based  on  the  Sacred 
Law,  was  to  sum  up  practically  the  entire  organized  life  of  the 
Ottoman  nation.  Under  the  Samanids  it  was  Turkish  boys 
who  were  thus  educated  by  Arabs  and  Persians,  but  the  Ottomans 
were  later  to  apply  the  same  principle  to  the  education  of  Chris- 
tian youth. 

The  Seljuk  Turks  brought  most  of  the  ideas  that  have  been 
mentioned  into  Asia  Minor.  They  served  chiefly  as  mediators 
between  the  older  Turkish,  Persian,  and  Mohammedan  systems 
and  that  of  the  Ottomans.  Besides  adding  some  features  out 
of  their  own  experience,  such  as  a  method  of  book-keeping,  and 
handing  on  a  taste  for  constructing  public  buildings  like  caravan- 
serais, khans,  and  mosques,  they  gave  rise  to  several  important 
religious  orders  which  were  to  have  a  place  in  Ottoman  life. 

What  was  left  for  the  Byzantines  to  contribute  to  the  Otto- 
man ?  He  had  received  already  the  main  features  of  his  national 
character,  —  language,  literary  influences,  law,  and  religion. 
One  of  his  two  leading  institutions  was  already  almost  fully 
developed  in  Moslem  lands,  and  required  only  transplantation. 
The  other,  however,   the  institution  of  war  and  government, 

1  Sch^fer,  Siasset  Namch,  139. 


could  still  be  modified  considerably;  and  this  was  to  incorporate 
much  from  the  Byzantines.^  Many  details  of  governmental 
organization,  both  imperial  and  local,  a  supplementary  system 
of  taxation,  a  greatly  elaborated  taste  for  court  ceremonial  and 
splendor,  a  plan  of  organizing  foreign  residents  under  a  special 
law,  and  a  host  of  lesser  usages  and  customs  were  to  be  taken  over 
by  the  Ottomans.  The  Ottoman  feudal  system  also  probably 
owed  its  final  form  to  the  Byzantines;  and  perhaps  it  was  from 
them  that  the  Ottomans  learned  their  abnormal  love  for  fees  and 
gifts.  The  matchless  structure  of  Saint  Sophia  served  as  a 
model  for  the  superb  mosques  that  lift  the  shapely  masses  of 
their  great  gray  domes,  supported  by  clusters  of  semidomes  and 
lesser  domes,  above  the  cypress  tress  and  gardens  of  the  rounded 
hills  which  in  Constantine's  city  slope  down  to  the  blue  waters 
of  the  Sea  of  Marmora,  the  Bosphorus,  and  the  Golden  Horn. 

This  sketch  of  the  origin  of  the  elements  of  Ottoman  culture 
does  not  profess  to  be  in  any  sense  complete.  So  great  a  subject 
is  worthy  of  separate  and  extended  treatment.  No  more  has 
been  attempted  here  than  partly  to  prepare  the  way  for  an  under- 
standing of  the  strange  system  of  government  which  the  Ottoman 
Turks  developed,  and  to  show  that  that  system  was  no  new  crea- 
tion, but  was  made  of  elements  which  in  their  origins  reached 
far  back  into  the  past.  Out  of  old  and  tried  ideas  was  built  up  a 
double  structure  which  was  individual,  conservative,  and  effi- 
cient, strong,  durable,  and  useful. 

'  Berard,  4  ff. 





The  Ottoman  Turkish  state  of  the  sixteentli  century  was  a 
despotism,  hmited  and  supported  by  the  Mohammedan  Sacred 
Law;  it  governed  a  vast  territory,  which  had  been  gathered  by 
the  progressive  conquest  of  many  separate  lands,  and  which  was 
consequently  held  in  many  diverse  relationships;  it  ruled  a 
multitude  of  peoples,  some  of  which  were  favored  as  holding  to 
the  state  religion,  and  others  of  which,  though  in  an  inferior 
position,  had  yet  the  right  by  sacred  compacts  to  practise  other 
religions  and  obey  other  laws. 

This  description  reveals  at  once  the  complex  and  parti-colored 
character  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  at  the  period  when  its  power 
and  prestige  were  greatest,  when  its  armies  were  feared  from 
the  shore  of  the  German  Ocean  to  the  borders  of  India  and  its 
fleets  from  Gibraltar  to  Bombay,  and  when  its  favor  and  good- 
will were  sought  by  powers  great  and  small  in  Asia,  Africa,  and 
Europe.  For  the  state  as  for  the  individual,  the  penalty  of 
greatness  is  increase  of  responsibihty  and  care.  In  any  conquer- 
ing nation  the  growth  of  governmental  institutions  must  keep 
pace  with  increase  of  territory  and  population,  or  advance  will 
be  stifled  by  confusion.  The  growth  may,  however,  be  too 
rapid  to  be  intelligently  directed.  Most  great  institutions,  in 
fact,  tend  to  develop  a  separate  life  of  their  own  which  may 
become  too  vast  and  powerful  for  human  comprehension  and 
control;  for  political,  rehgious,  economic,  and  social  forces 
proceed  out  of  and  act  upon  them  in  numerous  and  unexpected 
ways.  In  the  case  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  the  situation  was 
rendered  more  difficult  by  the  presence  in  its  territory  of  stable 
and  vigorous  institutions  centuries  older  than  its  own.  These 
were  profoundly  hostfle  to  its  inner  spirit,  far  too  powerful  and 



indi\ddual  to  be  destroyed  or  absorbed  by  it,  and  therefore  an 
eternal  obstacle  to  unity.  In  addition,  the  Ottoman  institu- 
tions themselves  grew  more  and  more  apart  into  two  unified 
groups,  which  were  in  striking  contrast  in  many  ways;  dwelHng 
together,  they  acted  upon  each  other  continually;  and  unfortu- 
nately they  were  so  constituted  that  their  reciprocal  influence 
was  to  the  injury  of  both.  A  fuller  explanation  will  make  the 
comphcated  situation  clearer. 

The  Limitations  on  Despotism 

It  may  seem  a  contradiction  in  terms  to  speak  of  a  despotism 
as  limited;  yet  a  little  reflection  will  show  that  there  never  has 
existed  and  never  can  exist  a  despotism  that  is  not  limited. 
In  what  land  has  the  will  of  one  man  been  obeyed  instantly, 
everywhere,  and  by  all  ?  In  what  land  have  there  not  been  stub- 
born traditions,  ineradicable  prejudices,  and  powerful  organiza- 
tions, which  have  blocked  the  way  of  the  despot  as  effectively 
as  lofty  mountains  and  stormy  channels  ?  The  great  limitation 
upon  the  power  of  the  Ottoman  sultan  was  the  Sheri,  or  Sacred 
Law  of  Islam,  which  claimed  to  be  wholly  above  him  and 
beyond  his  alteration. ^  He  might  by  act  of  violence  transgress 
its  provisions,  but  he  had  even  then  done  it  no  damage;  it  was 
still  what  it  had  always  been.  And  he  knew  well  that  his  trans- 
gressions must  not  be  too  many,  and  must  not  at  all  touch  certain 
matters,  else  he  would  be  declared  to  have  forfeited  the  throne.^ 
The  Sacred  Law  divided  with  him  the  allegiance  of  his  Moham- 
medan subjects;  it  demanded  to  be  consulted  before  he  removed 
the  head  of  a  criminal,^  or  went  to  war  with  an  enemy;  •*  it  took 
for  itself  the  revenues  of  a  large  share  of  his  lands,  and  so 
controlled  the  imposition  of  general  taxation  as  seriously  to 
embarrass  his  finances;  it  even  protected  his  Christian  subjects 
from  all  efforts  of  his  to  bring  them  forcibly  under  its  sway;  ^  it 
entered  into  his  very  spirit  and  persuaded  him  to  rehnquish 

1  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  30;  D'Ohsson,  v.  7;  Heidbom,  iii 
"  D'Ohsson,  i.  291;  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  32. 

2  D'Ohsson,  vi.  253. 

*  Ibid.  V.  53.  *  Ibid.  109. 


harmless  pleasures/  while  it  supported  him  in  the  execution  of 
able  and  worthy  brothers  and  sons,^  The  Sheri  was  a  form  of 
rigid  constitution  which  by  its  own  provisions  was  incapable  of 
amendment.  It  purported  to  regulate  for  all  time  the  matters 
included  in  its  scope.  Open  to  a  small  measure  of  modification 
by  juristic  interpfetation,  it  was  probably  on  the  whole  as 
changeless  a  system  as  has  ever  prevailed  among  men.  The 
sovereign  had  no  right  to  modify  it  in  the  least  respect. 

Nor  was  the  Sacred  Law  the  only  real  limitation  upon  the 
sultan's  power.  Although  he  was  not  bound  to  observe  the 
legislation  of  his  ancestors  or  maintain  their  institutions,^  yet 
he  could  not  lightly  destroy  what  he  must  at  once  replace. 
Some  of  their  laws  he  might  cease  to  observe,  some  institutions 
he  might  neglect,  improve,  or  reform;  but  the  main  substance 
of  their  work  was  too  useful  and  too  well-established  to  be 
undone.  Suleiman  bears  the  name  of  Legislator  (El  Kanuni); 
but  in  his  case  it  was  even  more  true  than  in  similar  instances 
in  other  lands  that  he  did  not  so  much  ordain  and  create  anew 
as  rearrange  and  put  in  order,  reorganize  and  regulate. 

Again,  few  other  peoples  in  the  world,  perhaps,  have  been  so 
much  under  the  power  of  custom  as  was  the  Ottoman  nation.^ 
That  which  had  been  once  done  in  a  certain  way  must  always 
be  done  in  the  same  way,  or  in  what  was  believed  to  be  the  same 
way,  unless  a  change  had  been  accompHshed  by  the  distinct 
intervention  of  fully  recognized  authority.     The  inertia  of  the 

*  Ibid.  iv.  280;  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  331;  Erizzo,  137. 

2  This  was  based  upon  a  passage  of  the  Koran,  "  Sedition  is  worse  than  exe- 
cution "  (Sura  2:  187):  Hammer,  Geschichte,  i.  216.  Professor  G.  F.  Moore 
points  out  that  in  this  passage  (and  in  Sura  2:  214,  which  is  substantially  identi- 
cal) the  text  refers  to  Mohammed's  war  with  the  Mcccans,  or  to  fighting  in  the 
sacred  months.  The  woTdfitnah,  here  translated  "  sedition,"  has  various  meanings: 
first  of  all,  "  trial,"  as  gold  and  silver,  for  example,  are  tried  by  smelting;  then, 
"  successful  temptation,  leading  or  turning  a  man  astray,  error,  discord,  dissension, 
sedition,  etc."  The  context  indicates  clearly  that  Mohammed  had  in  mind  the 
leading  or  turning  of  people  from  the  true  religion  as  that  which  is  "  worse  than 
killing."  The  other  meanings  would,  however,  allow  some  accommodating  jurist 
or  theologian  to  make  this  a  plausible  proof-text  for  authorizing  the  killing  of  the 
sultan's  brothers,  who  might  become  seditious  or  furnish  cause  for  dissension. 

'  Hammer,  Staalsverfassung,  31. 

*  Ibid.  32;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  150. 


people  was  so  marked  that  the  sovereign  power  seldom  found  it 
worth  while,  and  then  only  when  driven  by  necessity,  to  put  forth 
the  great  exertion  required  to  make  a  change  in  the  estabhshed 

Restricted  thus  by  an  unchangeable  constitution,  by  the 
presence  of  deep-rooted  laws  and  institutions,  and  by  the  settled 
customs  of  a  highly  conservative  people,  the  power  of  the  Otto- 
man sultan  could  be  exerted  freely  in  certain  directions  only. 
What  these  were  will  appear  as  the  scheme  of  the  government  is 

The  Territorial  Basis 

A  fundamental  characteristic  of  the  modern  state  is  considered 
to  lie  in  the  fact  that  its  power  is  territorial,  that  it  exerts  equal 
authority  over  every  part  of  a  certain  territory,  and  over  every 
human  being  and  every  material  object  upon,  above,* or  under 
the  surface  of  that  territory.  Although  an  authority  so  evenly 
applied  may  be  possible  theoretically,  it  is  never  in  actual  exis- 
tence in  any  particular  state;  for  special  laws  and  arrangements 
always  modify  the  situation.  For  example,  lands  and  property 
devoted  to  religious  or  educational  uses,  or  owned  by  a  foreign 
nation  for  its  ambassador,  are  regularly  exempted  from  taxation. 
Or,  again,  the  government  of  the  United  States  of  America 
stands  in  different  relations  toward  the  soil  of  the  District  of 
Columbia,  the  state  of  Massachusetts,  the  territory  of  Alaska, 
the  Philippine  Islands,  and  the  Panama  Canal  Zone. 

By  the  laws  of  Islam  the  soil  of  a  conquered  land  is  granted  by 
God  as  the  absolute  possession  of  the  Imam,  or  divinely  com- 
missioned prince,  who  commands  the  conquering  army.^  Apart 
from  the  question  as  to  where  the  sovereignty  rests,  this  theory 
of  ownership  is  substantially  that  of  the  modern  state.  The  fact 
that  the  soil  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  came  into  highly  complex 
relationships  with  the  government,  therefore,  arose  not  so  much 
from  a  different  fundamental  theory  as  from  a  greater  number  of 
special  arrangements  based  on  circumstances  and  on  the  per- 
sonality of  religion  and  law. 

*  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  478,  and  Staatsverfassung,  340. 


The  Ottoman  Empire  consisted,  first,  of  a  great  body  of  lands 
which  were  directly  administered  according  to  a  system  that 
was  exceedingly  intricate  but  approximately  uniform;  second, 
of  a  number  of  regions  less  directly  administered  under  special 
regulations;  third,  of  numerous  tributary  provinces;  and  fourth, 
of  certain  protected  or  vassal  states.  Outside  the  whole,  except 
where  the  frontiers  were  natural,  lay  a  belt  of  neutral  or  disputed 
territory,  which  tended  to  be  depopulated  by  continual  raids 
from  both  sides,  only  less  frequent  and  terrible  in  time  of  peace 
than  in  time  of  war.^  The  great  significance  of  this  belt  to  the 
Ottoman  people  and  government  was  that  it  furnished  a  con- 
tinuous supply  of  captives  for  the  enorrnpus  slave-trade  of  the 
empire.  Outside  of  the  raided  belt,  again,  lay  the  Dar-ul  harh, 
or  land  of  war,  inhabited  either  by  peoples  whose  religions  were 
regarded  as  inferior,  or  by  heretics,  wJpom  it  was  a  duty  to  con- 
quer, at  least  when  practical.-  The  ^der  in  which  these  several 
regions  are  mentioned,  an  order  based  on  progressive  diminution 
of  control,  corresponds  in  general  to  an  increasing  distance  from 
Constantinople.  While  the  Ottoman  Empire  was  growing, 
each  sort  of  territory  tended  to  absorb  the  next,  proceeding  from 
the  center  outward. 

These  lands  may  be  considered  rapidly  in  the  reverse  order. 
The  territory  in  which  raiding  was  frequent  consisted  of  a  strip 
extending  across  Austria-Hungary  from  the  head  of  the  Adriatic 
in  a  northeasterly  direction,  and  another  band  stretching  east- 
wardly  across  Southern  Poland  and  Russia  in  the  edge  of  the 
forest  region.  The  latter  was  separated  from  Crimean  Tartary 
by  the  steppe  land,  which  the  Tartars  kept  uninhabited  in  order 
to  afford  a  free  passage  to  their  light  horse.  The  Persian  frontier 
also  lay  waste;  but  the  country  was  too  much  broken  for  easy 
raiding,  and  Mohammedans,  even  though  heretical,  could  not 

^  For  the  Tartar  method  of  raiding  in  the  seventeenth  centun,-,  see  Ricaut, 
book  i.  ch.  xiii.  This  may  be  compared  with  Turkish  methods  in  the  fifteenth 
century,  as  described  by  the  author  of  the  Tractatus,  ch.  v. 

*  D'Ohsson,  V.  50.  Orthodoxy  in  the  Moslem  religion  was  by  no  means  an 
insuperable  obstacle  to  attempts  at  conquest.  The  Mamelukes  whom  Selim  I 
overthrew  were  Sunnites,  and  Malekile  Morocco  was  long  a  land  coveted  by  the 
Ottomans.    A  desire  for  the  unification  of  orthodox  Islam  came  into  play  here. 



lawfully  be  enslaved.^  Similar  conditions  existed  on  the  Moroc- 
can frontier,  except  that  the  majority  of  the  inhabitants  of 
Morocco  were  orthodox  Moslems.  Another  section  that  may 
properly  be  regarded  as  one  of  the  raided  regions  from  which 
slaves  and  booty  were  drawn  was  the  Christian  shipping  on  the 
Mediterranean  Sea,  and  the  islands  and  shores  of  that  sea  so  far 
as  they  were  held  by  Christians.  Crimean  Tartary,  Georgia, 
MingreHa,  and  parts  of  Arabia  were  vassal  territories,  more  or 
less  lightly  attached  and  paying  no  regular  tribute.^  Venice's 
island  of  Cyprus,  the  Emperor  Ferdinand's  possessions  in  Hun- 
gary, the  territories  of  Ragusa,  Transylvania,  Moldavia,  and 
Wallachia,  all  paid  regular  tribute  with  occasional  presents,  for 
the  privilege  of  maintaining  their  own  administrations.  Eg^^^t 
was  under  a  special  government,  adapted  with  sHght  changes  from 
that  of  the  Mamelukes,  headed  by  a  pasha  sent  out  from  Constan- 
tinople for  a  term  of  three  years,  and  delivering  a  large  part  of 
its  annual  revenue  to  the  imperial  treasury.  The  Holy  Cities  of 
Mecca  and  Medina,  far  from  paying  tribute,  received  a  large 
annual  subsidy  at  the  cost  of  Egypt.^  North  Africa,  conquered 
by  the  Corsairs,  was  brought  into  the  empire  by  Khaireddin 
Barbarossa  principally  for  the  sake  of  prestige  and  support; 
but,  though  in  its  organization  it  imitated  the  parent  government, 
it  was  seldom  in  close  obedience. 

The  regions  directly  administered  were  divided  into  districts, 
or  sanjaks,  each  of  which  had  a  separate  law  or  kanun-nameh,  of 
taxation,  which  rested  upon  terms  made  at  the  time  of  conquest.* 
Parts  of  the  mountain  lands  of  Albania  and  Kurdistan,  and  the 
desert  of  Arabia,  though  nominally  under  direct  administration, 
were  in  very  slight  obedience ;  they  retained  their  ancient  tribal 
organizations,  under  hereditary  chieftains  who  were  invested 
with  Ottoman  titles  in  return  for  military  service,  and  whose 
followers  might  or  might  not  submit  to  taxation.^    The  remaining 

1  D'Ohsson,  V.  86. 

2  The  Turks  laid  claim  also  to  Morocco,  but  they  never  exercised  abiding 
authority  there:  Knolles  (ed.  1687),  987. 

'  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  520-521. 

*  These  are  given  in  detail  in  Hammer's  Staatsverfassung,  219-327. 

*  Ibid.  251  {Kanun-nameh  of  the  sanjak  of  Kurdistan). 


sanjaks,  more  closely  under  control,  were  yet  organized  in  no 
simple  way. 

Parcels  of  land  in  the  great  central  portion  of  the  Ottoman 
Empire  were  in  three  classes,  —  the  tithe  lands  (ersi  'ushriyeh), 
the  tribute  lands  (ersi  kliardjiyeh),  and  the  state  lands  (ersi 
memleke.t) }  The  tithe  lands  had  been  granted  to  Mohammedans 
in  fee-simple  (mulk)  at  the  time  of  conquest,  on  condition  of 
paying  a  relatively  small  portion  (not  more  than  one-tenth)  of 
the  produce  to  the  state.  The  tribute  lands  had  been  granted 
or  left  to  Christians  in  fee-simple  at  the  time  of  conquest,  on 
payment  of  one  of  two  taxes  —  either  a  fixed  sum  for  the  land 
itself  or  a  share  of  the  produce  —  the  latter  ranging  in  amount 
from  one-tenth  to  one-half.^  The  state  lands  were  such  as  had 
never  been  granted  in  fee-simple,  and  hence  their  title  remained 
in  the  sultan.  He  received  the  revenue,  however,  from  only  a 
part  of  them;  for  a  very  large  portion  had  been  given  to  mosques 
as  endowment  (vakf)  for  their  maintenance  and  the  support  of 
their  attendants,  or  for  the  benefit  of  the  schools,  hospitals,  and 
other  buildings  attached  to  them;  and  another  large  portion 
had  been  granted  in  fief  to  Mohammedans,  who  in  return  ren- 
dered military  service  on  horseback.*  The  comparatively 
small  remainder  of  the  state  lands  was  held  as  crown  domain, 
administered  in  a  special  way  by  the  sultan  as  owner.  The 
tenants  of  state  lands  held  title  only  by  lease,  or  tapji,  and  paid 
both  money  and  crop  rent  to  the  church,  the  fief-holder,  or  the 
crown.*  All  the  lands  in  Europe  were  regarded  as  state  land,* 
for  the  Ottomans  gave  out  in  fee-simple  few  lands  that  were 
conquered  from  Christians.  Asia  Minor  was  also  largely  state 
land;  but  Syria,  Mesopotamia,  and  Egypt  were  held  under 
older  arrangements,  and  were  mainly  tribute  lands.  Arabia 
and  Bosra  were  almost  wholly  tithe  lands,  as  being  the  oldest 
Arabian  possessions.^    The  fundamental  quality  of  all  tribute 

'  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  478,  and  Staatsverfassung,  343  ff.;  Heidbom,  320  ff. 

*  Hammer,  Slaalsverfassitng,  344. 

*  D'Ohsson,  vii.  372  ff.;  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  475  ff.,  and  Staatsverfassung, 

337  ff- 

*  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  345. 

»  Ibid.  347.  '  Ibid.  344. 


land  was  unchangeable;  ^  but  original  tithe  lands  which  had  come 
into  the  hands  of  Christians  were  temporarily  regarded  as  tribute 
lands,^  and  lands  in  fee-simple  (tithe  and  tribute  lands)  might 
be  devoted  by  their  owners  as  religious  endowments  iyakj)} 
Original  small  fiefs  might  be  made  into  one  large  one;  or  a  num- 
ber of  persons  might  come  to  hold  a  iief  without  division  of  it, 
provided  they  jointly  furnished  the  required  military  service.* 
Many  endowments  (vakf)  were  made  by  private  individuals 
for  various  public  purposes;  in  time,  through  the  attachment  of 
pension  provisions  and  by  other  devices,  a  system  was  built  up 
which  had  many  of  the  features  of  the  employment  of  uses  under 
English  law.^ 

No  small  amount  of  land  of  every  sort  went  out  of  cultivation, 
and  after  a  certain  time  had  elapsed,  if  the  owner  was  unknown, 
became  state  land.  If  this  or  any  other  unoccupied  land  was 
brought  again  under  the  plow,  it  might  be  granted  to  the  new 

This  rapid  survey  is  sufficient  to  reveal  the  tangled  nature 
of  the  Ottoman  land  system  in  both  its  farther  and  its  nearer 
aspects,  and  to  show  why  the  administration  had  to  become 
markedly  and  increasingly  bureaucratic.  Such  a  multiplication 
of  relations  acted  powerfully  toward  decentralization,  since  the 
regulation  of  countless  details  could  be  attended  to  better  from 
points  near  at  hand;  and  the  immense  amount  of  adjustment  to 
which  officials  and  clerks  must  devote  their  time  afforded  infinite 
opportunities  for  corruption  and  extortion.  Suleiman,  in  his 
legislation,  made  a  series  of  efforts  to  simplify  and  systematize 
the  situation,  and  with  some  success;  but  he  could  not  remove 
the  causes  of  the  compHcations,  or  arrange  matters  so  that  they 
would  not  eventually  become  worse  than  before. 

^  D'Ohsson,  V.  96. 

2  Ibid. 

^  Belin,  La  Propriele  Fonciere,  88  ff. 

*  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  476;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  374. 

*  D'Ohsson,  ii.  523  ff.,  especially  552-557. 

*  Belin,  La  Propriele  Foncihre,  104  flf. 


The  Peoples 

The  wide  Ottoman  territory  held  a  great  number  of  peoples, 
marked  off  by  differences  of  race,  language,  religion,  and  customs. 
The  raided  belt  was  inhabited  chiefly  by  Southern  Slavs,  Ger- 
mans, Hungarians,  Poles,  and  Russians;  and  the  Christian 
shores  and  islands  of  the  Mediterranean  chiefly  by  Greeks, 
Italians,  French,  and  Spaniards.  Accordingly,  slaves  from  all 
these  peoples  were  constantly  forwarded  to  the  center  and  dis- 
tributed widely  —  in  the  service  of  the  sultan,  in  the  households 
of  the  great,  and  on  the  estates  of  country  gentlemen.  They 
were  treated  without  prejudice  in  accordance  with  their  abilities, 
and  in  the  end  the  great  majority  were  brought  into  the  Moslem 
fold,  many  of  them  rising  to  the  highest  positions.  The  inhabi- 
tants of  the  tributary  states  were  left  in  possession  of  most  of 
their  own  institutions,  but  whether  to  their  advantage  in  the 
long  run  is  a  question  open  to  debate.'  They  were  plundered 
directly  by  their  own  princes  and  indirectly  by  the  Turks,  and 
they  had  almost  no  part  in  the  work  and  hfe  of  the  empire.  The 
Mingrelians  and  Georgians  captured  and  even  raised  children 
for  the  slave-trade  of  the  empire  proper  and  of  Egypt.^  The 
Egyptian  fellahs  toiled,  as  they  have  done  through  all  ages, 
to  produce  wealth  for  their  masters,  who  were  now  in  two  bodies 
—  the  Mamelukes,  recruited  as  always  from  slaves  of  many  races, 
and  the  group  of  officials  and  Janissaries  who  aided  and  sustained 
the  Ottoman  pasha.  The  Berbers  of  North  Africa  furnished 
a  sufficient  task  of  government  to  their  rulers,  who  consisted  of  a 
body  of  officials  and  Janissaries  recruited  from  captives  and  from 
the  Turks  and  other  inhabitants  of  southwestern  Asia  Minor,^ 

*  Ricaut,  112. 

*  Bernardo,  387  ("  like  a  mine  of  slaves  for  the  service  of  the  Turks  ");  Ricaut, 
123;  Chardin,  85,  90  ("  sometimes  they  will  sell  their  own  children  "),  94,  114,  192. 
It  is  said  that  the  practice  of  raising  Circassian  girls  for  sale  is  still  carried  on  in 
Asia  Minor  (Heidbom,  81). 

*  Ricaut,  138;  Postel,  iii.  71;  Nicolay,  10  ("  The  most  of  those  who  are  called 
Turks  in  Algiers,  whether  in  the  king's  household,  or  on  the  galleys,  are  Christians 
of  all  nations  who  have  denied  their  faith  and  turned  Mohammedan  —  sont 
Chresticns  reniez  et  Mahumetizez  de  toutes  nations");  Lavisse  and  Rambaud, 
iv.  816,  820. 


but  connected  only  at  the  top  with  the  central  government  of  the 

In  the  region  which  was  under  more  or  less  direct  administra- 
tion, Albanians,  Servians,  Croatians,  Bulgarians,  and  Greeks  — 
in  general,  the  Christian  subjects  in  the  Balkan  Peninsula  — 
furnished  most  of  the  tribute  children;  but  some  were  taken  from 
the  Christians  of  western  and  northeastern  Asia  Minor  and  the 
Caucasus  region. ^  Kurds  and  Arabs,  being  Moslems,  could 
not  be  enslaved,  but  they  fought  for  the  empire  on  the  eastern 
frontiers.  Armenians  and  Jews  were,  by  ancient  privilege, 
exempt  from  both  blood  tribute  and  military  service. ^ 

The  principle  of  the  personality  of  law  and  religion  came  most 
visibly  into  play  in  the  heart  of  the  empire.  Prevalent  in  the 
Orient  from  the  time  of  Assyria's  greatness  to  the  present  day, 
it  is  not  easily  to  be  understood  in  a  land  that  has  wholly  sepa- 
rated rehgion  and  law.  Where  these  two  ideas  are  united,  two 
men  who  hold  different  faiths  must  perforce  Hve  under  different 
laws.^  Islam  inherited  the  idea  of  the  personaUty  of  law  through 
the  Sassanian  Persians,  and  endeavored  to  apply  it  with  simplic- 
ity by  drawing  a  single  line  between  Moslem  citizens  {Muslim) 
and  non-Moslem  subjects  {Zimmi).^  The  Ottomans  adopted 
the  idea  unreservedly  and  worked  it  out  into  a  complicated 
system:  each  considerable  body  of  their  non-Moslem  subjects, 
Greek  Orthodox,  United  Greek,  Armenian,  and  Jewish,  they 
left,  in  time,  not  merely  to  its  own  rehgion,  but  to  its  own  law 
and  the  administration  of  its  law  in  all  matters  that  did  not 
concern  Moslems.^     Proceeding  yet  farther  with  the  same  prin- 

^  Nicolay,  83.  Jorga,  iii.  167-189,  has  taken  note  of  the  ancestry  of  many  of 
the  high  Turkish  ofl&cials  of  the  sixteenth  century;  he  finds  no  Roumanian  among 

2  In  regard  to  the  Armenians,  see  Schiltberger,  73;  Chalcocondyles,  53.  As  to 
both  Armenians  and  Jews,  see  Navagero,  42;  Postel,  1.  34.  Morosini,  294,  makes 
mention  of  an  Armenian  who  was  in  1585  the  Beylerbey  of  Greece  by  special 
favor  of  the  Sultan. 

^  Pelissie  du  Rausas,  i.  21-22. 

*  D'Ohsson,  V.  104.  Visiting  foreigners  (muste  emin)  who  might  remain  more 
than  one  year  became  tributary  subjects  {zimmi):  Behn,  La  Propricle  Fonciere,  57. 

^  For  the  times  when  these  different  "  communities  "  were  formed  within  the 
Ottoman  state,  see  Steen  de  Jehay,  passim.    In  brief,  the  Greek  community  was 


ciple,  they  granted  even  greater  privileges  to  foreigners  who 
wished  to  reside  within  the  empire.  Except  for  a  tax  upon  the 
land  which  they  might  occupy,  for  the  necessity  of  paying  cus- 
toms duties,  and  for  responsibility  to  Ottoman  courts  of  justice 
in  civil  cases  in  which  Ottoman  subjects  were  concerned,  such 
foreigners  were  almost  wholly  free  from  Ottoman  control,  freer 
far  to  do  as  they  pleased  than  they  could  be  in  their  native  lands. 
Regions  existed  where  nearly  all  the  inhabitants  obeyed  one 
law.  In  Bulgaria  and  Greece  few  were  not  Greek  Orthodox. 
In  the  interior  of  Asia  Minor  few  were  not,  at  least  legally, 
Mohammedan.  But  in  the  great  cities  of  the  empire,  and 
especially  in  the  capital,  there  was  an  immense  variety  of  obedi- 
ence. Not  only  did  the  various  colonies  of  foreigners  and  the 
various  subject  nationalities  have  their  separate  rights  under 
different  systems,  but  individuals  among  them,  such  as  ambas- 
sadors and  clergymen,  had  special  privileges  and  immunities. 
Even  among  the  Mohammedans  there  were  various  distinctions. 
Several  large  classes  were  privileged,  and  in  different  ways, 
including  all  the  people  of  court  and  church,  of  the  army  and 
the  law,  of  government  and  education.  The  social  and  legal 
structure  was  thus  scarcely  less  compUcated  than  that  of  medieval 
Western  Europe,  with  its  interlocking  of  feudal  and  official  and 
royal  privilege,  of  clergy  and  nobility,  of  free  and  chartered 

Institutions  of  Government 

In  the  midst  of  so  much  territorial  complexity  and  among 
so  many  peoples  which  enjoyed  different  rights,  what  unifying 
institutions  did  the  Ottoman  Empire  possess  ?  In  the  largest 
sense,  the  government  included  every  organization  that  could 
lay  claim  to  any  public  character,  and  all  of  these  must  be  brought 
into  view  if  there  is  to  be  a  complete  understanding  of  the  condi- 
tions.    In  the  first  place,  however,  it  is  necessary  to  discover  and 

organized  in  1453  and  the  Armenian  in  1461.  The  latter  was  at  first  supposed  to 
include  all  subjects  who  were  not  Moslem  or  Greek  Orthodox;  those  who  were  not 
Gregorian  Armenians  were  gradually  separated  off  by  a  process  of  differentiation 
which  may  be  said  to  be  active  still.  With  the  growth  of  the  spirit  of  nationalism 
in  the  nineteenth  century,  the  Greek  Orthodox  community  has  also  been  divided. 


comprehend  the  genuinely  great  and  powerful  institutions. 
These  were  two,  and  not,  as  is  essential  to  the  modern  conception 
of  the  state,  a  single  one.  Each  was,  it  is  true,  composed  of  several 
parts,  which  may  be  regarded  as  distinct  institutions  in  them- 
selves; and  yet  each  had  an  inherent  unity  that  must  be  firmly 
grasped  and  held  if  the  situation  is  to  be  understood. 

If  names  must  be  assigned  to  these  two  great  composite 
institutions,  the  nearest  approximation  would  perhaps  be  to 
call  them  State  and  Church.  But  these  words  give  no  adequate 
idea  of  them,  since  each  embraced  a  little  less  and  at  the  same 
time  far  more  than  is  included  in  the  conception  of  the  corre- 
sponding Western  institutions.  They  will  therefore  be  described 
and  discussed  as  the  "  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution,"  and  the 
"  Moslem  Institution  of  the  Ottoman  Empire."  The  character 
of  each  and  the  distinction  between  them  -will  become  clear  as 
they  are  explained  in  detail.  For  the  present,  a  brief  statement 
of  the  composition  of  each  and  of  its  function  in  the  government 
of  the  empire  will  sufhce. 

The  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution  included  the  sultan  and  his 
family,  the  ofilicers  of  his  household,  the  executive  officers  of  the 
government,  the  standing  army  composed  of  cavalry  and  infan- 
try, and  a  large  body  of  young  men  who  were  being  educated  for 
service  in  the  standing  army,  the  court,  and  the  government. 
These  men  wielded  the  sword,  the  pen,  and  the  scepter.  They 
conducted  the  whole  of  the  government  except  the  mere  render- 
ing of  justice  in  matters  that  were  controlled  by  the  Sacred  Law, 
and  those  limited  functions  that  were  left  in  the  hands  of  subject 
and  foreign  groups  of  non-Moslems.  The  most  vital  and  charac- 
teristic features  of  this  institution  were,  first,  that  its  personnel 
consisted,  with  few  exceptions,  of  men  born  of  Christian  parents 
or  of  the  sons  of  such;  and,  second,  that  almost  every  member 
of  the  Institution  came  into  it  as  the  sultan's  slave,  and  remained 
the  sultan's  slave  throughout  life  no  matter  to  what  height  of 
wealth,  power,  and  greatness  he  might  attain. 

The  Moslem  Institution  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  included  the 
educators,  priests,  jurisconsults,  and  judges  of  the  empire,  and 


all  who  were  in  training  for  such  duties,  besides  certain  allied 
groups,  such  as  dervishes  or  monks,  and  emirs  or  descendants 
of  the  Prophet  Mohammed.  These  men  embodied  and  main- 
tained the  whole  substance  and  structure  of  Mohammedan 
learning,  religion,  and  law  in  the  empire.  They  took  part  in  the 
government  by  applying  the  Sacred  Law  as  judges  assisted  by 
jurisconsults,  and  in  these  capacities  they  .paralleled  the  entire 
structure  of  administration  to  the  remotest  corner  of  the  empire.^ 
In  fact,  their  system  extended  to  regions  where  direct  administra- 
tion was  not  exercised.  In  the  Crimea,  for  example,  the  render- 
ing of  justice  was  in  their  hands,  while  the  other  functions  of 
government  were  performed  by  a  vassal  state  in  light  obedience. 
The  situation  in  Arabia  and  in  North  Africa  was  somewhat 
similar,  though  complicated  by  the  presence  of  rival  systems  of 
jurisprudence.  In  direct  contrast  to  the  Ruling  Institution, 
the  personnel  of  the  Moslem  Institution  consisted,  with  hardly 
an  exception,  of  men  born  of  Moslem  parents,  and  born  and 
brought  up  free. 

Both  these  institutions,  while  uniquely  powerful  and  inde- 
pendent within  the  empire,  were  paralleled  by  lesser  institutions, 
but  in  different  ways.  The  Ruling  Institution  was  followed 
closely  by  the  governments  of  Eg>'pt  and  North  Africa,  and  less 
closely  by  those  of  the  tributary  and  vassal  states;  but  all  these 
were  strictly  subordinate,  and  exercised  what  authority  they 
possessed  only  within  definite  territorial  limits.  The  Moslem 
Institution  was  followed  closely  by  the  Greek  and  Armenian 
and  Jewish  national  institutions,  and  to  some  extent  by  the 
organization  of  the  foreign  colonies.  Each  of  these  various 
institutions  rested  on  a  religious  organization  or  theory,  cared 
for  the  learning,  rehgion,  and  law  of  its  people,  and  rendered 
justice  in  matters  not  covered  by  the  Ottoman  administration; 
but  all  were  wholly  independent  of  the  Moslem  Institution, 
and,  since  they  were  based  on  personality  instead  of  territory, 
they  exercised  jurisdictions  which  were  territorially  co-extensive 
with  its  jurisdiction  and  often  with  the  jurisdictions  of  each 

*  Hammer,  Geschkhte,  ii.  237. 


The  two  great  institutions  and  the  lesser  parallel  ones  included 
practically  all  the  government  of  the  empire  when  regarded  in 
its  widest  aspect.  In  the  time  of  Suleiman  the  Ruling  Institution 
was  perhaps  of  greater  power  and  influence  than  the  Moslem 
Institution,  but  the  tendency  of  the  latter  was  to  gain  upon  the 
former.  Notable  progress  in  that  direction  was  made  during 
his  reign,  and  indeed  through  his  personahty.  The  policy  of 
both  toward  the  parallel  lesser  institutions  was  to  prevent  them 
from  gaining  in  power,  and,  so  far  as  possible,  to  weaken  them. 
In  the  former  aim  this  policy  succeeded  with  all  but  two  classes,  — 
the  governments  of  North  Africa,  which  were  separated  by  a  sea 
under  their  own  control,  and  the  organizations  of  the  foreign 
settlements,  which  were  supported  by  active  and  increasing 
powers  outside  of  the  empire.  But  the  two  great  institutions 
were  restrained  by  circumstances  and  their  own  inherent  struc- 
ture from  extirpating  the  parallel  institutions,  and  in  time  they 
were  to  cease  to  weaken  them.  The  greatest  dangers  to  the 
whole  Ottoman  system  lay,  however,  in  the  rivalry  of  the  two 
great  institutions  and  in  a  tendency  of  the  Ruling  Institution 
toward  decentralization  and  division  into  its  component  parts. 

Contemporary  Descriptions  of  the  Two  Great 


Few  writers  on  the  history  and  government  of  the  Ottoman 
Empire  since  the  sixteenth  century  have  grasped  the  individual 
unity,  the  paralleHsm,  and  the  contrast  of  its  two  leading  institu- 
tions. D'Ohsson  and  Von  Hammer  understood  the  Moslem 
Institution,  but  missed  the  conception  of  the  Ruling  Institution, 
the  unity  of  which  had  disappeared  long  before  their  time. 
Ranke  obtained  from  a  few  of  the  Italian  writers  a  very  \avid 
conception  of  the  Ruhng  Institution,  particularly  as  a  slave- 
family  and  an  army;  but  he  did  not  see  the  Moslem  Institution 
in  its  due  proportion  and  importance.  Zinkeisen,  making  wider 
use  of  the  Italians,  came  nearer  than  any  other  to  a  clear  under- 
standing of  the  whole  scheme;  yet  his  exposition  does  not  leave 
a  distinct  impression.  Bury,  in  his  lucid  chapter  in  the  Cambridge 
Modern  History,  describes  well  the  Spahis  and  the  Janissaries, 


and  notes  that  many  tribute  children  rose  to  high  positions; 
but  he  does  not  grasp  tha  unity  of  the  RuHng  Institution,  and 
he  seems  hardly  at  all  to  see  the  Moslem  Institution.  Jorga, 
the  latest  to  write  a  general  history  of  Turkey,  makes  it  his 
avowed  purpose  to  exhibit  cultural  and  institutional  growth; 
he  comes  near,  but  does  not  attain,  a  distinct  conception  of  the 
Ruling  Institution;  while  giving  especial  attention  to  the  rene- 
gades who  reached  high  position  in  the  fifteenth  and  sixteenth 
centuries,  he  seems  not  to  recognize  how  definite,  and  how  intelli- 
gently constructed  and  directed,  were  the  policy  and  organization 
which  raised  them  to  power.^ 

In  order  to  show  how  clearly  some  of  the  Italian  writers  of 
the  sixteenth  century  understood  the  two  institutions,  though 
not  under  any  particular  names,  translations  of  certain  quota- 
tions are  subjoined.  Since  they  will  serve  also  to  justify  the 
present  writer's  point  of  view,  no  apology  need  be  made  for  their 

Andrea  Gritti,  Venetian  orator  extraordinary  to  Bayezid  II,  in 
his  report  to  the  Venetian  senate  on  December  2,  1503,  mentions 
the  highest  Turkish  officials  as  follows:  — "For  affairs  of  state 
and  every  other  matter  of  importance  His  Majesty  is  wont  to 
take  counsel  with  the  pashas.  .  .  .  These  are  ordinarily  four 
in  number,  who  reside  in  Constantinople;  they  are  born  of 
Christian  parents,  seized  from  the  provinces  while  small,  and 
educated  in  different  places  by  men  delegated  for  that  purpose; 
raised  then  to  certain  positions  either  through  the  affection 
which  the  Grand  Signor  bears  for  them,  or  by  some  enterprises 
valorously  carried  through,  they  quickly  become  very  rich, 
selling,  among  matters  of  importance,  justice  and  favors;  but 
when  they  find  themselves  at  the  summit  of  fehcity  they  live 
in  great  danger."  ^ 

Antonio  Barbarigo,  Venetian  Bailo  at  Constantinople  from 
1555  to  1560,  speaks  further  of  the  high  officials:  "Nor  does 
there  exist  in  this  so  great  empire  either  superiority  or  illustrious- 
ness  of  blood,  so  that  any  one  can  glory  in  his  descent,  but  all 

^  See  Jorga,  iii.  1O7  ff.,  especially  174,  188. 
2  Gritti,  24-25. 


are  in  an  equal  condition,  and  they  themselves  wish  to  be  named 
and  called  slaves  of  the  Grand  Signor,  and  their  greatest  pride  is 
when  they  say  that  they  are  slaves  of  the  Signor;  and  all  his  chief 
men  and  governors  are  slaves,  and  Christian  renegades,  and 
sons  of  Christians  brought  up  from  an  early  age  in  the  seraglio, 
and  then  in  time,  according  to  their  worth,  exalted  and  rewarded 
and  made  great  by  His  Majesty."  ^ 

Marcantonio  Barbaro,  Bailo  of  Venice  at  Constantinople  from 
1568  to  1573,  seems  to  have  been  the  first  to  discern  clearly  the 
contrast  of  the  two  institutions. 

"  It  is  a  fact  truly  worthy  of  much  consideration,  that  the 
riches,  the  forces,  the  government,  and  in  short  the  whole  state 
of  the  Ottoman  Empire  is  founded  upon  and  placed  in  the  hands 
of  persons  all  born  in  the  faith  of  Christ;  who  by  difTerent 
methods  are  made  slaves  and  transferred  into  the  Mohammedan 
sect.  Then  whoever  will  carefully  direct  his  attention  to  this 
principal  consideration,  will  come  more  easily  to  an  understand- 
ing of  the  government  and  nature  of  the  Turks.  .  .  . 

"  Other  sorts  of  persons  are  not  ordinarily  admitted  to  the 
honors  and  the  pay  of  the  Grand  Signor,  except  the  above- 
mentioned,  all  Christian-born.  .  .  . 

"  The  emperor  of  the  Turks  has  ordinarily  no  other  ordinances 
and  no  other  laws  which  regulate  justice,  the  state,  and  religion, 
than  the  Koran;  so  that,  as  the  arms  and  the  forces  are  wholly 
reposed  in  the  hands  of  persons  all  born  Christians,  so,  as  I  have 
already  said,  the  administration  of  the  laws  is  all  solely  in  the 
hands  of  those  who  are  born  Turks,  who  bring  up  their  sons  in  the 
service  of  the  mosques,  where  they  learn  the  Koran,  until  being 
come  of  age  they  are  made  kazis  of  the  land,  who  are  like  our 
podestas,  and  administer  justice,  although  the  execution  remains 
in  the  hands  of  those  who  wield  arms.  .  .  . 

"  I  have  taken  much  space  to  demonstrate  to  your  most  excel- 
lent Signory  how  the  government  of  this  empire  is  wholly  reposed 
in  the  hands  of  slaves  born  Christians,  this  appearing  to  me  a 
matter  for  much  consideration.  .  .  ."  ^ 

^  A.  Barbarigo,  149-150  (from  a  summary  of  his  Relazione). 
2  Barbaro,  315-329, /»a«i»w. 


Gianfrancesco  Morosini,  Venetian  Bailo  at  Constantinople 
from  1582  to  1585,  later  made  a  cardinal  of  the  Roman  church, 
yields  to  none  in  the  fulness  and  depth  of  his  observation  of  the 
Turks.     He  too  distinguishes  clearly  the  great  institutions:  — 

"  There  are  two  sorts  of  Turks:  one  of  these  is  composed  of 
natives  born  of  Turkish  fathers,  and  the  other  of  renegades, 
who  are  sons  of  Christian  fathers,  taken  violently  in  the  depreda- 
tions which  his  fleets  and  sailors  are  accustomed  to  make  on 
Christian  territories,  or  levied  in  his  own  territory  by  force  of 
hand  from  the  subjects  and  non-Moslem  tax-payers  (carzeri)  of 
the  Signor,  who  while  boys  are  by  allurement  or  by  force  cir- 
cumcised and  made  Turks.  .  .  .  Not  only  does  the  greater  part 
of  the  soldiery  of  the  Turks  consist  of  these  renegades,  but  in 
yet  greater  proportion  all  the  principal  offices  of  the  Porte  are 
wont  to  be  given  to  them,  from  the  grand  vizier  to  the  lowest 
chief  of  this  soldiery,  it  being  established  by  ancient  custom  that 
the  sons  of  Turks  cannot  have  these  positions.  .  .  . 

"  To  the  native  Turks  are  reserved  then  the  governing  of 
the  mosques,  the  judging  of  civil  and  criminal  cases,  and  the 
ofiice  of  the  chancery:  from  these  are  taken  the  kazis  and  the 
kaziaskers,  the  teachers  Qtojas) ,  and  their  Mufti,  who  is  the  head 
of  their  false  religion ;  and  the  kazis  are  like  podestas,  and  render 
justice  to  every  one,  and  the  kaziaskers  are  like  judges  of  appeal 
from  these  ^as/5.  ..." 

"  The  renegades  are  all  slaves  and  take  great  pride  in  being 
able  to  say,  *  I  am  a  slave  of  the  Grand  Signor  ' ;  since  they 
know  that  this  is  a  lordship  or  a  republic  of  slaves,  where  it  is 
theirs  to  command."  ^ 

Lorenzo  Bernardo  was  Bailo  of  Venice  in  Constantinople 
from  1584  to  1587.  After  a  second  period  of  service  in  1591 
and  1592  he  presented  the  longest  extant  report  to  the  Venetian 
senate  on  the  Ottoman  Empire.  After  describing  the  principal 
officers  of  the  Ottoman  government  at  the  time  he  says  in  his 
involved  style :  — 

"  These  are  they,  in  whom  is  reposed  not  only  the  whole 
government  of  the  state,  but  also  the  command  of  all  the  arms 

^  Morosini,  263-267,  passim. 


of  this  so  great  an  empire;  and  yet  these  are  neither  dukes,  nor 
marquises,  nor  counts,  but  all  by  origin  are  shepherds,  and  per- 
sons base  and  vile;  wherefore  it  would  be  well  if  this  most  serene 
republic,  imitating  in  this  direction  the  Grand  Signor,  he  who 
from  this  sort  of  persons,  his  slaves,  creates  and  makes  the  best 
captains,  sanjaks  and  beylerbeys,  giving  them  in  this  way  credit 
and  reputation 

"  Just  as  the  whole  government  of  the  affairs  of  the  state 
and  the  command  of  its  arms  is  reposed  in  the  hands  or  the 
control  of  slaves  by  origin  Christian,  and  then  made  Turks  by 
various  accidents;  so  the  government  of  the  affairs  which  look 
toward  justice,  and  all  the  charge  of  affairs  of  religion  are  located 
in  the  hands  of  native  Turks,  sons  of  Turks,  who  ha\dng  been 
educated  in  the  universities  instituted  by  the  Grand  Signor 
and  the  present  ministers,  and  made  learned  in  their  laws,  which 
consist,  both  civil  and  criminal,  in  no  other  teaching  than  that 
of  the  sole  book,  the  Koran,  become  imams,  or  priests,  who  govern 
mosques;  kazis,  or  podestas;  hojas,  or  preceptors  of  great  men; 
and  finally  kaziaskers,  or  judges  of  supreme  appeal,  of  whom 
there  are  only  two,  the  one  in  Asia  and  the  other  in  Europe; 
and  the  head  of  all  these  and  supreme  in  their  reHgion  is  the 
mufti,  Hke  the  pope  among  us,  who  is  chosen  by  the  Grand 
Signor."  ^ 

Lastly,  Matteo  Zane  shall  speak,  Venetian  Bailo  in  Constanti- 
nople from  1 591  to  1597.  In  the  imperfect  record  of  his  vigorous 
report,  the  illustrious  diplomatist  says:  "  The  Turks  are  partly 
natives  and  partly  renegades;  the  natives,  who  live  for  the  most 
part  in  Asia,  are  in  comparison  with  the  renegades  less  depraved 
and  less  tyrannous,  because  they  still  have  in  them  some  rehgion, 
which  the  others  have  not,  —  the  most  arrogant  and  scoundrelly 
men  that  can  be  imagined,  having  seemingly  with  the  true  faith 
lost  all  humanity.  This  ahenation  from  rehgion  is  fitting  in 
desperate  characters,  who  are  induced  to  it  by  Ucentious  freedom 
of  hfe,  and  by  seeing  placed  in  their  hands  the  arms,  the  govern- 
ment, the  riches,  and  in  short  the  whole  empire,  excluding  the 
native  Turks,  who  are  admitted  only  to  the  careers  of  justice, 

^  Bernardo,  358-364,  passim. 


as  that  of  kazi  and  the  like,  and  to  those  of  religion,  such  as 
mujli,  hoja,  and  imam,  as  is  very  well  known."  '■ 

The  impending  break-down  of  the  system  near  the  close  of 
the  sixteenth  century  is  also  set  forth  clearly  by  Zane:  "  The 
government  of  the  Turkish  Empire  is  suffering  within  itself  so 
many  and  such  great  alterations,  that  one  may  very  reasonably 
hope,  divine  aid  mediating,  for  some  notable  revolution  within  a 
short  time,  because  the  native  Turks  continue  to  sustain  the 
greatest  dissatisfaction,  from  seeing  all  the  confidence  of  the 
government  reposed  in  the  renegades,  who,  at  a  tender  age  for 
the  most  part,  are  taken  into  the  seraglio  of  the  king  or  of  private 
citizens,  and  made  Turks.  To  the  renegades  is  committed  not 
merely  the  care  of  arms,  but  the  entire  command  and  the  execu- 
tion of  the  acts  of  justice  of  the  kazis  (although  they  do  not  allow 
appeals),  and  the  superintendence  of  religion;  whence  one  may 
say  that  they  rule  everything  and  that  the  native  Turks  are  their 
subjects  as  are  servants  to  their  masters;  which  was  not  true  in 
other  times  to  such  excess  as  at  present."  ^ 

To  these  testimonies  from  Italian  writers  may  be  added  a 
paragraph  written  about  1603  by  the  great  English  historian  of 
Turkey,  Richard  Knolles.  Knolles  shows  no  acquaintance  with 
the  Moslem  Institution,  but  his  recognition  of  the  Ruling  Institu- 
tion is  good :  — 

"  The  Othoman  Government  in  this  his  so  great  an  Empire, 
is  altogether  like  the  Government  of  the  Master  over  his  Slave, 
and  indeed  mcer  tyrannical;  for  the  Great  Sultan  is  so  absolute 
a  Lord  of  all  things  within  the  compass  of  his  Empire,  that  all 
his  Subjects  and  People,  be  they  never  so  great,  do  call  them- 
selves his  Slaves  and  not  his  Subjects;  neither  hath  any  man 
power  over  himself,  much  less  is  he  Lord  of  the  House  wherein 
he  dwelleth,  or  of  the  Land  which  he  tillcth,  except  some  few 
Families  in  Constantinople,  to  whom  some  few  such  things  were 
by  way  of  reward,  and  upon  especial  favour  given  by  Mahomet 
the  Second,  at  such  time  as  he  won  the  same.  Neither  is  any 
man  in  that  Empire  so  great,  or  yet  so  far  in  favour  with  the 
Great  Sultan,  as  that  he  can  assure  himself  of  his  Life,  much  less 

*  Zane,  389.  ^  Ibid.  414. 


of  his  present  Fortune  or  State,  longer  than  it  pleaseth  the 
Sultan.  In  which  so  absolute  a  Sovereignty  (by  any  free  born 
People  not  to  be  endured)  the  Tyrant  preserveth  himself  by 
two  most  especial  means;  first,  by  taking  off  all  Arms  from  his 
natural  Subjects;  and  then  by  putting  the  same  and  all  things 
else  concerning  the  State  and  Government  thereof  into  the 
Hands  of  the  Apostata,  or  Renegade  Christians,  whom  for  the 
most  part  every  third,  fourth,  or  fifth  Year  (or  of tner,  if  his  need 
so  require)  he  taketh  in  their  Child-hood,  from  their  miserable 
Parents,  as  his  Tenths  or  Tribute  Children;  whereby  he  gaineth 
two  great  Commodities:  First,  For  that  in  so  doing  he  spoileth 
the  Provinces  he  most  feareth,  of  the  flower,  sinews,  and  strength 
of  the  People,  choice  being  still  made  of  the  strongest  Youths, 
and  fittest  for  War;  then,  for  that  with  these,  as  with  his  own 
Creatures,  he  armeth  himself,  and  by  them  assureth  his  State; 
for  they,  in  their  Child-hood,  taken  from  their  Parents  Laps, 
and  dehvered  in  Charge  to  one  or  other  appointed  for  that 
purpose,  quickly,  and  before  they  are  aware,  become  Mahome- 
tans; and  so  no  more  acknowledging  Father  or  Mother,  depend 
wholly  on  the  Great  Sultan;  who,  to  make  use  of  them,  both 
feeds  them  and  fosters  them,  at  whose  hands  onely  they  look 
for  all  things,  and  whom  alone  they  thank  for  all.  Of  which 
Fry,  so  taken  from  their  Christian  Parents  (the  only  Seminary 
of  his  Wars)  some  become  Horse-men,  some  Foot-men,  and  so  in 
time  the  greatest  Commanders  of  his  State  and  Empire,  next 
unto  himself;  the  natural  Turks,  in  the  mean  time,  giving  them- 
selves wholly  unto  the  Trade  of  Merchandise,  and  other  their 
Mechanical  Occupations;  or  else  to  the  feeding  of  Cattel,  their 
most  ancient  and  natural  Vocation,  not  intermedling  at  all  with 
matters  of  Government  or  State."  ^ 

^  Knolles  (ed.  1687),  982. 



I.    General  Description 

Perhaps  no  more  daring  experiment  has  been  tried  on  a  large 
scale  upon  the  face  of  the  earth  than  that  embodied  in  the 
Ottoman   Ruling   Institution.     Its   nearest   ideal    analogue    is 
found  in  the  Republic  of  Plato,  its  nearest  actual  parallel  in  the 
Mameluke  system  of  Egypt;    but  it  was  not  restrained  within 
the  aristocratic  Hellenic  limitations  of  the  first,  and  it  subdued 
and  outlived  the  second.     In  the  United  States  of  America 
men  have  risen  from  the  rude  work  of  the  backwoods  to  the 
presidential  chair,  but  they  have  done  so  by  their  own  effort 
and  not  through  the  gradations  of  a  system  carefully  organized 
to  push  them  forward.     The  Roman  Catholic  church  can  still 
train  a  peasant  to  become  a  pope,  but  it  has  never  begun  by 
choosing  its  candidates  almost  exclusively  from  famihes  which 
profess  a  hostile  rehgion.     The  Ottoman  system  dehberately 
took  slaves  and  made  them  ministers  of  state;  it  took  boys  from 
the  sheep-run  and  the  plow-tail  and  made  them  courtiers  and 
the  husbands  of  princesses;  it  took  young  men  whose  ancestors 
had  borne  the  Christian  name  for  centuries,  and  made  them 
rulers  in  the  greatest  of  Mohammedan  states,  and  soldiers  and 
generals  in  invincible  armies  whose  chief  joy  was  to  beat  down 
the  Cross  and  elevate  the  Crescent.     It  never  asked  its  novices, 
"  Who  was  your  father  ?  "  or  "  What  do  you  know  ?  "  or  even 
"Can  you  speak  our  tongue?";    but   it   studied   their   faces 
and  their  frames  and  said,  "  You  shall  be  a  soldier,  and  if  you 
show  yourself  worthy,  a  general,"  or,  "  You  shall  be  a  scholar 
and  a  gentleman,  and  if  the  ability  lies  in  you,  a  governor  and  a 
prime  minister."     Grandly  disregarding  that  fabric  of  funda- 
mental customs  which  is  called  "  human  nature,"  and  those 



religious  and  social  prejudices  which  are  thought  to  be  almost 
as  deep  as  life  itself,  the  Ottoman  system  took  children  forever 
from  parents,  discouraged  family  cares  among  its  members 
through  their  most  active  years,  allowed  them  no  certain  hold 
on  property,  gave  them  no  definite  promise  that  their  sons  and 
daughters  would  profit  by  their  success  and  sacrifice,  raised  and 
lowered  them  with  no  regard  for  ancestry  or  previous  distinction, 
taught  them  a  strange  law,  ethics,  and  religion,  and  ever  kept 
them  conscious  of  a  sword  raised  above  their  heads  which  might 
put  an  end  at  any  moment  to  a  brilhant  career  along  a  matchless 
path  of  human  glory. 

The  members  of  this  system  were,  in  a  general  way,  as  long 
as  they  lived,  at  once  slaves,  proselytes,  students,  soidiers,  nobles, 
courtiers,  and  officers  of  government.  To  be  understood  fully, 
the  institution  should  be  considered  from  each  of  these  points  of 
view.  The  aspects  which  were  of  central  and  controlling  im- 
portance, however,  were  those  of  war  and  government;  the 
others  were  preparatory  or  accessory.  Furthermore,  the  sultan 
was  the  head  and  center  of  the  institution  in  every  one  of  its 
aspects.  He  gave  it  its  unity,  its  vigor,  and  its  propelling  force. 
Although  his  despotic  power  was  limited  in  many  directions,  it 
knew  no  limits  with  regard  to  the  members  and  the  mechanism 
of  this  institution.  The  person,  the  fortune,  the  property,  and 
the  life  of  every  member  lay  in  his  hand.^ 

The  absolute  character  of  the  sultan's  authority  was  an  element 
of  great  strength  to  the  institution,  but  it  contained  also  the 
possibihty  of  a  great  danger.  To  manage  the  system  well 
required  an  almost  superhuman  intelligence.  The  sultan  held 
the  position  of  Deity  toward  his  slaves,  and  he  needed  the 
omniscience  and  benevolence  of  Deity  to  exercise  his  power 
wisely  and  justly.  Unfortunately,  his  position,  which  controlled 
the  whole  scheme,  was  the  only  one  that  was  filled  by  the  uncer- 
tain lot  of  heredity.  While  strong  men  came  to  the  throne,  the 
system  worked  out  marvellous  results.  When  weak  men  were 
to  come,  as  happened  immediately  after  Suleiman,  the  system 
was  to  begin  to  fall  apart  into  dangerous  fragments.     Yet  its 

1  Ricaut,  14-15. 


vitality  was  so  strong  that  it  lived  on  through  nearly  three 
centuries  of  alternate  decline  and  rehabilitation,  and  its  spirit 
may  almost  be  said  to  abide  still. 

The  Ruling  Institution  contained  certain  component  parts, 
which  were  capable  of  separate  existence,  and  some  of  which  at 
times  tended  to  escape  complete  control.  Among  these  the  best- 
known,  though  not  intrinsically  the  most  important,  was  the 
body  of  permanent  infantry  known  as  the  Janissaries.  They 
represented  the  brute  force  of  the  system  and  its  most  dangerous 
element.  Another  component  institution  was  the  permanent 
cavalry,  the  Spahis  of  the  Porte. ^  These  were  more  numerous 
than  the  Janissaries,  but  being  better  educated  and  encouraged 
by  the  presence  of  greater  opportunities,  they  were  not  so  dan- 
gerous. A  third  important  sub-institution  was  the  hierarchy  of 
governing  officials.  Although  these  had  great  power,  they  could 
be  dealt  with  individually;  and  the  sword  was  never  far  from 
their  necks.  Subordinate  bodies  of  a  secondary  influence  were 
the  Ajem-oghlans,  or  apprentice  Janissaries,  and  the  colleges  of 
pages,  which  trained  many  of  the  Spahis  of  the  Porte  and  most 
of  the  officers  of  government.  Each  of  these  component  parts 
will  be  dealt  with  in  its  proper  place.  Theoretically,  and  except 
at  certain  junctures  practically,  they  were  strictly  subordinated 
to  the  main  institution  and  yet  fully  incorporated  with  it.  The 
Ruling  Institution  as  a  whole  will  be  considered  as  a  slave-family, 
a  missionary  institution,  an  educational  system,  an  army,  a 
court,  a  nobility,  and  a  government. 

II.   The  Slave-Family 

Every  one  who  belonged  to  the  Ruling  Institution  in  any 
capacity  from  gardener  to  grand  vizier,  save  only  the  members  of 
the  royal  family,  bore  the  title  of  kul,  or  slave,  of  the  sultan.- 

^  These  Spahis  of  the  Porte  are  to  be  distinguished  from  the  body  of  feudal 
Spahis.     See  below,  pp.  98-105. 

^  This  is  illustrated  by  the  quotations  in  the  last  section  of  Chapter  i,  above. 
See  also  Menavino,  138  (referring  to  the  pages,  he  says  "  Tutti  sono  suoi  schiaui 
&  figlioli  Christiani  ");  Ricaut,  14  (all  who  receive  pay  or  oflice  from  the  sultan 
are  called  kul);  D'Ohsson,  vii.  203  ("  Les  employes  civils  de  mdme  que  les  mili- 


Nor  was  this  title  a  mere  form :  with  few  exceptions,  all  members 
entered  the  system  as  actual  slaves,  and  there  was  nowhere 
along  the  line  of  promotion  any  formal  or  real  process  of  emanci- 
pation. The  power  of  the  sultan  over  the  lives,  persons,  and 
property  of  the  members  of  the  institution,  and  his  right  to  their 
absolute  obedience,  bear  every  mark  of  having  been  derived 
from  the  idea  of  slavery.  The  very  word  despot  means  by 
derivation  the  master  of  slaves,  and  it  was  only  over  his  kullar 
that  the  sultan's  power  was  despotic  in  the  fullest  sense.^ 

Entrance  to  the  system  came  by  the  door  of  slavery,  which 
was  open  regularly  only  to  Christian  boys  from  ten  to  twenty 
years  of  age.  It  is  an  error,  found  in  some  writers  even  lately, 
to  name  eight  years  as  the  usual  age.^  The  correct  limits  are 
given  approximately  by  many  contemporary  writers.^  It  is 
probable  that  the  preferred  ages  were  between  fourteen  and 
eighteen,  and  that  only  in  exceptional  cases  were  boys  taken 
before  the  age  of  twelve  or  after  the  age  of  twenty. 

taires,  suiv-ant  I'antique  usage  de  I'Orient,  sont  assimiles  aux  esclaves  du  Souverain, 
et  qualifies  de  ce  nom  —  coul  —  dans  toutes  les  pieces  publiques  ").  In  D'Ohsson's 
time  the  term  had  acquired  such  a  general  usage  as  in  the  English  phrase  "  your 
obedient  ser\'ant."  Delia  Valle,  i.  44,  speaking  of  the  entry  to  the  Divan,  says, 
"  Tutti  sono  schiavi;  "  and  Ranke,  9,  says,  "  All  were  slaves." 

^  D'Ohsson,  vii.  149,  207. 

*  For  example,  Lodge,  The  Close  of  the  Middle  Ages  (1906),  500;  Myers,  Medieval 
and  Modern  History  (1905),  165. 

^  The  Tractatus,  ch.  viii,  says  simply  20  years  and  imder;  Zeno,  128,  says  above 
10  years.  Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey  (below,  pp.  244,  263)  mention  pages  from 
8  to  20  years  old;  Navagero,  49,  says  between  12  and  15  years,  Trevisano,  229, 
says  that  they  were  taken  not  at  the  age  of  6  or  7  years  as  formerly,  but  at  10  or 
12  years.  Postel,  iii.  23,  sets  between  12  and  14  as  the  lower  limit,  and  18  and 
20  as  the  upper  limit.  Nicolay,  62,  says  that  the  pages  were  from  8  to  20  years 
of  age;  Garzoni,  396,  says  that  they  ranged  from  the  tenth  to  the  thirteenth 
year;  Ricaut,  74,  fixes  the  age  at  10  or  12  years.  Too  much  reliance  should  not  be 
placed  on  Trevisano's  statement  as  to  former  times,  since  hearsay  evidence  as  to 
Turkish  affairs  is  unreliable.  Considering  the  rougher  life  in  earlier  times,  it  is 
likely  that  levies  would  then  have  been  made  of  older,  rather  than  younger,  boys. 
The  presence  of  young  boys  among  the  pages  was  due  to  the  selection  of  unusually 
promising  captives. 


Methods  of  Recruiting 

Four  methods  were  employed  for  obtaining  recruits  for  the 
system,  —  by  capture,  purchase,  gift,  and  tribute.  Of  these  only 
the  last  is  commonly  considered; '  but  it  was  originally,  and 
probably  always,  merely  supplementary  to  the  others.-  The 
four  methods  ultimately  rested  on  two.  Slaves  who  were 
bought  for  the  sultan  or  given  to  him  had  nearly  all  been  either 
taken  as  captives  or  levied  illegally  with  the  tribute  boys;  there 
was  hardly  any  other  way,  since  slaves  passed  too  rapidly  into 
the  Moslem  fold  to  have  their  children  available  for  the  system. 
As  to  the  comparative  numbers  obtained  by  the  different  methods 
there  are  few  data  for  calculation.  Probably  about  three  thou- 
sand tribute  boys  was  the  annual  average  in  the  sixteenth  cen- 
tury,^ but  there  is  no  reason  to  think  that  this  was  a  majority 
in  the  number  of  annual  recruits.  The  whole  number  in  the 
system  may  be  estimated  at  about  eighty  thousand.^  Since 
the  losses  by  war  were  sometimes  tremendous,  it  is  probable 
that  the  average  annual  renewal  required  was  as  much  as  one- 
tenth,  or  between  seven  and  eight  thousand.  On  this  basis  the 
tribute  boys  furnished  somewhat  less  than  one-half  of  the  whole 
number.    These  calculations  are,  of  course,  more  or  less  arbitrary. 

It  is  true  that  children  of  Spahis  of  the  Porte  might  be  admitted 
to  the  college  of  pages  at  the  pleasure  of  the  sultan,  but  their 

^  Myers  (as  above)  mentions  the  two  methods  of  capture  and  tribute  as  suc- 

'^  Djevad  Bey,  i.  26:  "  Ces  prisonniers  ou  esclaves  6taient  d'ailleurs  incorpores 
dans  I'armee  des  Janissaires,  et  alors  I'efTectif  qui  manquait  6tait  complete  par  la 
voie  de  la  levee  de  troupes  parmi  Ics  sujets  chretiens." 

'  Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey  (below,  pp.  254,  270)  say  that  10,000,  or  12,000 
were  taken  every  4  years.  Geuffroy,  242,  and  Postel,  iii.  23,  give  the  same  esti- 
mate. Ricaut,  74,  says  he  is  "  given  to  understand  "  that  about  2000  were 
collected  yearly  in  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  century.  The  exigencies  of  war 
probably  increased  the  number  greatly  at  times.  B6rard,  12,  naming  no  author- 
ity, says  that  in  some  years  Suleiman  took  40,000  boys. 

*  20,000  Ajem-oghlans,  12,000  to  14,000  Janissaries,  10,000  of  the  auxiliar\- 
corps,  grooms,  etc.,  40,000  Spahis  of  the  Porte  (including  the  12,000  members  of 
the  four  corps  and  the  followers  they  were  obliged  to  bring),  2000  pages  and  high 
ofiicials.  Suleiman  took  with  him  on  his  last  campaign  48,316  men  under  pay 
(Hammer,  Staalsvcrd'olluug,  181).  Morosini,  259,  says  that  in  15S5  the  sultan 
had  under  pay  80,000  men.    This  is  exclusive  of  about  one-half  of  the  Ajem-oghUns. 


grandchildren  and  the  children  of  all  other  Moslems  were  ex- 
cluded by  rigid  rules. ^  These  rules  began  to  be  invaded  about 
the  close  of  Suleiman's  reign  by  the  admission  of  the  sons  of 
Janissaries,-  an  innovation  that  was  of  ultimately  fatal  import  to 
the  system,  A  certain  number  of  adults  were  also  received  and 
some  of  these  were  sons  of  Moslems;  exceptional  individuals 
from  among  the  irregular  troops  were  admitted  to  the  Spahis 
of  the  Porte  by  way  of  reward,^  and  that  body  contained  a  For- 
eign Legion  of  about  two  thousand,  composed  of  renegade 
Christians,  Arabs,  Nubians,  and  the  like.^  Occasionally,  also, 
some  high  official  of  Suleiman's  government  had  been  born  a 
Moslem.^  But  the  total  effect  of  all  these  exceptions  was  so 
shght  as  to  cause  them  to  be  disregarded  by  more  than  one 
contemporary  observer.^ 

The  original  homes  of  the  captives  have  been  described.^ 
By  the  Sacred  Law  the  sultan  was  entitled  to  one-fifth  of  all 
captives  taken  in  war;  *  and  he  chose  as  his  share,  through 
agents,  such  young  men  as  seemed  suitable  for  a  place  in  his 
system.^  Since  by  special  Ottoman  regulation  the  sultan's 
fifth  belonged  to  the  church,  he  was  accustomed  to  pay  twenty- 
five  aspers  to  the  church  for  each  slave  that  he  took.^'^  His 
officers  also  purchased  in  the  pubhc  slave-market  of  the  capital 
such  youths  as  were  available."  These  came  from  the  captives 
that  the  Tartars  of  the  Crimea  took  in  great  numbers,  from  the 
quasi-slave-farms  of  the  Caucasus,^' from  the  irregular  raids  in 

1  Postel,  i.  20. 

2  See  below,  p.  69,  note  3. 
'  Postel,  iii.  36. 

^  See  below,  p.  99,  note  i. 

^  For  example,  Piri  Mohammed,  a  descendant  of  the  thirteenth-century  poet, 
Jelal  ad-din  Rumi.     Cf.  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  18. 

^  Notably  Junis  Bey,  who  says  (below,  p.  265),  "  None  can  be  a  pasha  except 
a  Christian  renegade."  This  custom  is  said  to  have  been  established  by  Bayezid 
II  (.-Vngiolello,  74,  quoted  by  Jorga,  ii.  306,  note  2).  For  further  instances,  see 
the  last  section  of  Chapter  i,  above. 

^  See  above,  p.  :i2)- 

8  D'Ohsson,  V.  91. 

9  Schiltberger,  5,  gives  an  early  example.     See  also  Tractatiis,  ch.  viii. 
1"  Hammer,  Geschichte,  i.  167.  "  Zeno,  127. 

12  Zeno  is  strongly  impressed  by  these  two  sources. 


Austria,  and  from  the  corsair  expeditions.  The  sultan  received 
a  large  number  of  boys  as  gifts,  since  it  was  well  known  that  no 
presents  were  more  acceptable.^  Those  who  desired  his  favor 
kept  a  lookout  for  such  as  would  please  him. 

The  Tribute  Boys 

Although  the  levying  of  tribute  boys  in  the  Christian  provinces 
of  the  empire  seems  not  to  have  produced  the  majority  of  neo- 
phytes for  the  system,  the  practice  has  always  received  a  share 
of  attention  far  beyond  its  numerical  importance.  Several 
reasons  for  this  suggest  themselves.  In  the  first  place,  it  rested 
on  a  unique  and  almost  unparalleled  idea;  then,  it  involved  an 
extraordinary  disregard  of  human  affection  and  of  the  generally 
acknowledged  right  of  parents  to  bring  up  their  children  in 
their  own  law  and  religion;  ^  and,  finally,  it  produced  the  ablest 
and  highest  officials  of  the  system.^  In  the  latter  respect  its 
youth  seem  to  have  borne  some  such  relation  to  those  obtained 
by  capture  as  the  cultivated  fruits  of  the  garden  do  to  those 
gathered  in  the  woods. 

The  levying  was  accomplished  by  a  regular  process,  the  devsh- 
iirmch.  Normally  every  four  years,  but  oftener  in  case  of  need,^ 
a  body  of  officials  more  skilled  in  judging  boys  than  trained 
horse-dealers  are  in  judging  colts  were  sent  out  by  the  govern- 
ment to  the  regions  from  which  tribute  was  taken.*  The  whole 
of  the  Balkan  Peninsula,  Hungary,  the  western  coast  of  Asia 

'  Postel,  iii.  17-18.     It  was  in  this  way  that  Menavino  entered  the  system  (see 
his  Trattato,  10). 
2  Cf.  Postel,  iii.  23. 

*  A  study  of  the  nationality  of  the  high  officials  of  the  sixteenth  centuty  gives 
evidence  of  this.  For  example,  Ibrahim  was  an  Albanian  (Junis  Bey,  below, 
p.  265) ;  Rustem  Pasha  was  a  Croat  (Hammer,  Geschichle,  iii.  268) ;  Ferhad  was 
a  Hungarian  {ibid.  365);  the  grand  vizier  AJi,  whom  Busbecq  {Life  and  Letters, 
i.  157)  calls  "  a  thorough  gentleman,"  was  a  Dalmatian;  Ayas  was  an  .\lbanian, 
and  Kassim  a  Croat  (Junis  Bey,  p.  265) ;  etc.  For  many  other  examples,  see  Jorga, 
iii.  167-189. 

*  The  Tractatus,  ch.  viii,  says  every  5  years;  Spandugino,  102,  says  once  in  5 
years  or  oftener;  Zeno,  128,  says  each  year;  Rambcrti  and  Junis  Bey  (below, 
pp.  254,  270)  say  every  4  years;  PosteL  iii.  22,  says  every  3  or  4  years. 

*  Tractatus,  ch.  vi. 


Minor,  and  the  southern  and  eastern  shores  of  the  Black  Sea 
were  inckided  in  the  territory  visited;  but  the  strongest  and 
ablest  youths  came  from  the  mountain  regions  inhabited  by 
Albanians  and  the  Southern  Slavic  peoples.^  The  recruiting 
officers  were  commissioned  each  to  bring  in  a  certain  number, 
which  had  been  apportioned  to  them  out  of  a  total  determined 
at  the  capital. 2  There  was  no  principle  of  tithing,  and  no  fixed 
proportion  or  number  of  boys  was  levied  from  each  village  or 
family;  ^  the  quota  desired  from  each  district  was  obtained  for 
the  government  by  selection  of  the  most  available  youths.  The 
recruiting  officers  sometimes  collected  a  larger  number  than  was 
asked  for,  and  sold  the  surplus  on  their  own  account  to  high 
officials  or  wealthy  private  citizens.^  A  regular  procedure  was 
followed.  The  officers  obtained  from  the  Christian  priest  of 
the  village  a  list  of  the  boys  whom  he  had  baptized,  and  who  were 
between  the  ages  of  twelve  and  twenty  years  or  thereabouts.^ 
All  these  were  brought  before  the  officers,  who  selected  the  best.® 
Parents  who  had  strong  and  well-favored  sons  might  lose  them 
all,  while  those  who  had  weakhngs  would  lose  none.'  On  leaving 
each  village,  the  officer  took  with  him  the  boys  whom  he  had 

^  Giovio,  Commentarius,  75;  Zeno,  128;  Nicolay,  83.  Jorga,  iii.  188,  finds  no 
Roumanian  among  the  high  Turkish  officials  of  the  sixteenth  century.  Roumania, 
being  a  vassal  state,  was  not  exposed  to  the  devshurmek.  Knolles  (ed.  1687,  pp. 
984-985)  says  that  the  tribute  boys  from  Asia  were  not  advanced  to  become  Jan- 
issaries, because  they  were  not  of  sufficiently  high  quality.  They  are  not  found 
in  positions  of  prominence. 

2  Navagero,  48. 

'  Menavino's  translator  says  quasi  decimatione  (Lonicerus,  i.  140).  Postel,  iii. 
22-23,  says  expressly  that  the  children  were  not  tithed;  Nicolay,  83,  however,  states 
that  one  in  three  were  taken,  as  does  J.  Soranzo,  245.  Morosini,  264,  speaks  of 
a  tithe  {decima).  Gibbon  (ed.  Bury),  vii.  79,  says  that  a  fifth  of  the  boys  were 
taken;  see  also  Lavisse  and  Rambaud,  iv.  758.  The  latter  statements  seem  to 
be  based  theoretically  on  the  fifth  of  the  captives  to  which  the  sultan  was  entitled. 
The  differences  among  those  who  profess  to  fix  a  proportion  are  evidence  that 
there  was  none. 

^  Spandugino,  103. 

*  Postel,  iii.  22.  Navagero,  49,  says  that  the  officers  summoned  the  heads  of 
families  and  commanded  them  to  present  their  sons. 

^  Navagero,  49. 

'  Postel,  iii.  23. 


selected;  and,  when  his  quota  had  been  gathered,  he  took  them 
to  the  capital.^ 

Estimate  of  the  System 

This  levying  of  boys  as  tribute  has  always  ehcited  a  great 
amount  of  moral  indignation,  as  representing  an  extreme  of 
oppression,  heartlessness,  and  cruelty.  The  rehgious  factor 
has  increased  the  odium  of  the  custom.  Certainly  no  argument 
can  be  found  which  will  justify  it  to  those  who  believe  in  the 
liberty  of  the  individual,  the  absolute  right  of  parents  over 
minor  children,  and  a  complete  withdrawal  of  human  beings 
from  the  category  of  property,  —  principles  which  seem  in  the 
sixteenth  century  to  have  had  no  place  in  Ottoman  philosophy 
or  jurisprudence,  at  least  as  regards  Christian  subjects.  It  may 
be  said  at  once  that  the  custom  cannot  be  brought  into  harmony 
with  Western  ideas.  So  much  being  granted,  how  did  the 
system  bear  upon  the  parents  who  were  despoiled  and  the  boys 
who  were  taken  ? 

In  the  midst  of  the  conflicting  testimony  of  reputable  witnesses, 
it  is  evident  that  the  parents  of  tribute  boys  did  not  all  feel 
alike.  The  grief  at  parting  was  often  a  heart-breaking  thing  to 
witness;  ^  the  mother  whose  son  was  taken  by  force  to  an  unknown 
life  among  enemies  of  all  that  she  had  been  taught  to  hold  dear 
would  hardly  have  suffered  more  at  the  death  of  her  son.  At 
the  same  time,  she  might  hope  to  see  him  one  day  in  the  posses- 
sion of  great  wealth  and  power.  It  is  not  to  be  supposed  that 
youth  taken  at  from  twelve  to  twenty  years  of  age  would  ever 
forget  their  parents;  and,  if  they  lived  and  prospered,  they  would 
sometimes  seek  them  out,  as  did  Ibrahim,  even  though  they 
might  not  try  his  unfortunate  experiment  of  bringing  them  up 
to   the  capital.^     Fathers  would  appreciate   the  opportunities 

*  Navagero,  49.  ^  Postel,  iii.  23. 

'  Geuffroy,  240.  Bragadin  (1526),  103,  says:  "  Ibrahim  has  his  mother  and  two 
brothers  in  the  palace.  He  does  much  good  to  Christians.  His  father  is  Sanjak 
in  Parga."  And  again,  104:  "  Ayas  has  three  brothers.  His  mother  at  Avlona  is 
a  Christian,  and  he  sends  her  100  ducats  annually."  Nicolay,  86,  says,  on  the 
contrar)',  that  the  tribute  boys  are  never  afterwards  willing  to  recognize  father, 
mother,  or  relatives.  He  cites  the  case  of  an  uncle  and  nephews  of  Rustem  Pasha, 
who  begged  in  Adrianople,  but  received  no  aid  from  him.     Cf.  Zane,  438. 


which  arose  before  their  sons  much  more  than  would  the  mothers. 
Both  would  be  more  or  less  reluctant  to  let  them  go,  according 
as  their  Christian  religious  convictions  were  deep  or  shallow. 
Parents  who  wished  to  keep  their  sons  would  sometimes  marry 
them  in  tender  years,  since  married  boys  were  ineligible;  those 
who  had  means  bought  exemption  for  their  sons  from  the  recruit- 
ing officers,  who  thus  reaped  great  rewards.^  On  the  contrary, 
many  parents  were  glad  to  have  their  sons  chosen,  knowing  that 
they  would  thus  escape  from  grinding  poverty,^  receive  a  first- 
rate  training  suited  to  their  abilities,  and  enter  upon  the  possi- 
bility of  a  great  career.  Some  parents,  in  fact,  came  to  regard 
the  process  as  a  privilege  rather  than  a  burden ;  ^  and  they  had 
reason  to  do  so,  since  Turkish  parents  envied  them  the  opportu- 
nity, and  sometimes  tried  to  evade  the  regulations  by  paying 
Christians  to  take  their  Moslem  sons,  and  declare  them  as 
Christian  children,  so  that  they  might  be  enrolled  as  the  sultan's 
slaves.*  Apart,  then,  from  poHtical  theory  and  religious  pre- 
possession, the  levying  of  tribute  children  was  by  no  means  a 
mere  evil  to  the  parents. 

The  situation  of  the  boys  themselves,  considered  under  the 
same  reservations,  was  almost  wholly  favorable.  They  were 
taken  at  an  age  when  they  would  not  feel  the  parting  as  they 
might  have  felt  it  in  earlier  or  later  years,  when  their  attachment 
to  things  and  places  would  be  at  its  weakest,  and  before  their 
religious  convictions  were  likely  to  have  become  fixed.  They 
were  taken  from  the  narrow  mountain  valleys  and  the  labor- 
hungry  plains.  They  were  taken  at  the  age  when  the  bounding 
pulse  and  the  increasing  strength  of  youth  suggests  great  hope 
and  promises  great  achievement.  They  were  taken  to  opportu- 
nities as  great  as  their  utmost  abilities,  greater  often  than  they 
could  possibly  imagine.  They  might  still  have  to  labor  for  a 
time,  but  a  distinct  career  lay  ahead.     The  best  military  educa- 

^  Spandugino,  144,  145. 

*  Trevisano,  130. 
3  Ibid. 

*  Bernardo,  332,  says  in  1592,  after  the  system  had  been  dislocated,  that  the 
greater  part  of  the  recruits  were  then  sons  of  Turks. 


tion  in  the  world  would  certainly  be  theirs.  If  their  abihties 
lay  in  that  direction  they  could  have  a  finished  and  thorough, 
though  specialized,  education  of  the  mind.  They  could  look 
forward  to  travel,  wealth,  power,  and  all  else  that  human  ambi- 
tion desires.  In  that  land  and  that  age  of  the  world,  the  question 
of  the  religious  and  social  systems  being  laid  aside,  an  unpreju- 
diced observer  could  hardly  imagine  a  more  brilliant  opportu- 
nity than  that  which  lay  before  the  tribute  boys. 

The  Slave  Status 

Whether  captured,  purchased,  presented,  or  levied,  the  young 
men  who  entered  the  system  were  the  slaves  of  the  sultan,  the 
personal  property  of  a  despot.  They  were  his  slaves  for  life, 
and,  though  they  felt  honored  by  the  title, ^  they  were  never 
allowed  to  forget  the  responsibilities  of  their  condition.  They 
must  to  the  end  of  their  days  go  where  the  sultan  chose  to  send 
them,  obey  his  sHghtest  wish,  submit  to  disgrace  as  readily  as 
to  promotion,^  and,  though  in  the  highest  office  of  state,  they 
must  accept  death  by  his  order  from  the  hands  of  their  humblest 
fellow-slaves,^  If  one  of  them  was  executed,  all  his  property 
went  to  his  master.  The  time  had  not  yet  come  when  heads 
would  be  removed  for  the  sake  of  the  owner's  possessions;  yet 
Suleiman  profited  greatly  by  the  death  of  several  of  his  slaves, 
in  particular  from  the  estates  of  the  Dcfterdar  Iskender  Chelebi 
and  the  grand  vizier  Ibrahim.^  When  one  of  the  sultan's  slaves 
died  leaving  sons  or  daughters,  the  master  sealed  up  his  property, 
and  took  the  tenth  part  for  himself  before  distributing  the  rest 
to  the  children;^  the  nine-tenths  was,  indeed,  given  to  the 
children  rather  by  the  favor  of  a  bountiful  and  wealthy  master 
than  as  a  right.  If  the  slave  had  no  sons  or  daughters,  the 
sultan  took  his  whole  estate ;  *  and  a  day  was  to  come  when  his 

1  Erizzo,  131;  Morosini,  267;  Ricaut,  14. 

''■  Spandugino,  180. 

*  Ibid.  183;  J.  Soranzo,  250. 

*  Hammer,  Gcschichle,  iii.  144,  156,  162. 
^  Postel,  iii.  68. 

'  Ibid.  G.  Soranzo  (1576),  197,  says  that  the  Grand  Signer  is  heir  of  all  the 


empty  treasury  would  demand  the  whole  estate  under  all  cir- 
cumstances.^ Thus  in  all  essential  respects  the  eighty  thousand 
kidlar  of  the  sultan  constituted  one  great  slave-family. 

The  Harem,  the  Eunuchs,  and  the  Royal  Family 

Two  or  three  less  numerous  but  highly  important  groups  may 
properly  be  discussed  in  the  present  connection.  The  imperial 
harem  and  the  imperial  family  itself  were  virtually  parts  of  the 
same  slave  system.^  The  harem  of  Suleiman  was  not  the  large 
and  costly  institution  that  was  maintained  by  some  of  his  succes- 
sors; like  his  father  Selim,^  he  was  not  given  to  sensuality,  but 
is  said  to  have  been  faithful  to  Khurrem  from  the  time  that 
he  made  her  his  wife.^  The  character  of  an  Oriental  royal 
harem  has  often  been  set  forth  incorrectly.  While  it  may 
contain  hundreds  or  even  thousands  of  women,  a  very  few  of 
these  are  the  actual  consorts  of  the  monarch.  A  large  number  are 
the  personal  servants  and  entertainers  of  himself,  his  mother,  his 
consorts,  his  daughters,  and  his  infant  sons.  Another  section 
consists  of  those  who  are  being  educated  for  the  same  personal 
service.  A  fourth  group,  probably  the  great  majority,  are  mere 
house-servants,  who  attend  to  all  the  domestic  labors  of  the 
harem  and  are  seldom  promoted  to  more  honorable  positions. 
There  is,  finally,  a  group  of  older  women  who  preserve  order 
and  peace,  teach,  keep  accounts,  and  manage  the  estabUshment 

Suleiman's  harem  contained  about  three  hundred  women, 
who  were  kept  in  a  separate  palace  well  fortified  and  guarded.^ 
His  harem  fully  deserves  to  be  reckoned  as  part  of  the  great 
slave-family,  since  all  its  inmates  except  his  children  were  pur- 

^  D'Ohsson,  vii.  147.  In  the  seventeenth  century  the  sultan  allowed  the 
children  of  pashas  only  what  pleased  him  (Ricaut,  131).  Morosini,  274,  refers  to 
a  similar  practice  in  the  latter  part  of  the  sixteenth  century. 

2  Ricaut,  16,  calls  the  Turkish  court  "  a  prison  of  slaves." 

3  Hammer,  Geschichle,  ii.  379. 

*  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  159. 
6  D'Ohsson,  vii.  61  ff. 

8  Spandugino,  77;  Ramberti,  below,  p.  253;  Junis  Bey  below,  p.  268;  Nicolay, 


chased  or  presented  slaves.*  These  women,  brought  for  the 
most  part  from  the  region  of  the  Caucasus,^  and  including  in 
their  number  some  of  the  fairest  female  captives  of  many  lands, 
were  nearly  all  daughters  of  Christians.  Khurrem  herself  was 
a  Russian,  while  the  rival  of  her  youth  seems  to  have  been  a 
Circassian.^  In  another  respect  the  harem  deserves  to  be 
reckoned  with  the  Ruling  Institution,  in  that  its  inmates,  upon 
attaining  the  age  of  twenty-five,  were,  if  they  had  not  attracted 
the  sultan's  special  attention,  as  a  rule  given  in  marriage  to 
distinguished  Spahis  of  the  Porte."* 

A  comparatively  small  group,  not  hitherto  mentioned,  of  the 
attendants  at  the  sultan's  palace  and  harem  belong  within  the 
slave-family.  Although  the  Sacred  Law  strongly  disapproved 
of  the  employment  of  eunuchs,  that  unfortunate  class  was  thought 
too  useful  to  be  dispensed  with  entirely.  Some  were  white, 
brought  mainly  from  the  Caucasus  region ;  but  the  great  majority 
were  negroes  brought  from  Africa.  Tribute  children  seem 
rarely  to  have  been  made  eunuchs.^  The  class  deserves  mention 
because  several  of  the  important  offices  of  state  among  the 
"  men  of  the  pen  "  were  held  by  eunuchs,  and  now  and  then  one 
rose  to  high  place  in  the  army  or  the  administration.^ 

The  royal  family  also  may  rightly  be  included  in  the  slave- 
family.  The  mothers  of  the  sultan's  children  were  slaves;  the 
sultan  himself  was  the  son  of  a  slave;  and  his  daughters  were 
married  to  men,  who,  though  they  might  be  called  vizier  and 

1  Spandugino,  78,  is  probably  wrong  in  his  statement  that  the  girls  of  the  harem 
were  recruited  from  gifts,  tithes,  and  tribute.  The  small  number  of  women  in  the 
harem  would  make  the  elaborate  process  of  tribute-taking  unnecessary. 

^  Postcl,  i.  34. 

'  Navagero,  75;  Jovius,  Historiarum,  ii.  371.  But  Bragadin,  101,  calls  her  a 
Montenegrin,  and  Ludovisi,  29,  an  Albanian;  while  Busbecq  (Life  and  Letters, 
i.  178)  says  that  she  came  from  the  Crimea.  Gomara  indicates  that  her  Turkish 
name  was  Gul-behar,  the  Rose  of  Spring  (Mcrriman,  Gomara's  Annals  of  Charles 
V,  141).  This  confusion  of  knowledge  in  regard  to  so  important  a  personage 
gives  evidence  of  the  secrecy  which  surrounded  the  sultan's  harem. 

*  See  below,  p.  79,  note  2. 

'  Hammer,  Geschichte,  i.  232.  Spandugino,  69,  says  that  many  were  made  such. 
Menavino,  who  was  himself  a  page,  says  that  very  few  were  so  treated,  and  only 
for  punishment  {Trattato,  138). 

^  Spandugino,  69;  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  237. 


pasha,  wore  these  titles  at  the  sultan's  pleasure,  whereas  they 
bore  indelibly  the  title  of  kul,  or  slave.^  The  sultan's  sons, 
though  they  might  sit  upon  the  throne,  would  be  the  consorts 
of  none  but  slaves.  Long  before  Suleiman's  time,  the  sultans 
had  practically  ceased  either  to  obtain  brides  of  royal  rank,  or 
to  give  the  title  of  wife  to  the  mothers  of  their  children.^  Sulei- 
man, given  to  legahty  and  rehgious  observance,  and  greatly 
devoted  to  the  lovely  Roxelana,  made  her  his  lawful  wife.  Since, 
by  the  Sacred  Law,  the  status  of  the  mother  as  wife  or  slave 
does  not  affect  the  legitimacy  of  the  children  if  the  father  acknowl- 
edges them,^  all  children  born  in  the  harem  were  of  equal  legiti- 
macy and  rank. 

Other  Ottoman  Slave-Families 

The  ruling  institution  of  any  state  is  apt  to  be  copied  in 
miniature  by  many  organizations  within  the  same  state.  The 
municipalities  of  Rome,  and  the  state  and  city  governments 
of  the  United  States,  were  each  modeled  after  the  central  govern- 
ment. In  a  similar  way,  every  great  officer  of  the  Ottoman 
court  built  up  a  slave-family  after  the  model  of  the  Ruhng 
Institution.  The  grand  vizier  had  a  very  large  estabUshment; 
the  viziers  had  somewhat  smaller  ones;  the  governors  of  prov- 
inces had  households  in  proportion  to  their  incomes;'*  and  each 
adult  prince  kept  a  miniature  government.     Not  only  the  slave- 

^  Menavino,  143;  "  Schaiui  chiamati  Bascia  [pasha]." 

2  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  112.  Selim  I,  married  a  princess,  daughter  of  the 
Khan  of  the  Crimean  Tartars.  This  appears  to  have  been  the  last  of  such  alliances, 
of  which  there  were  a  number  in  earher  times. 

^  D'Ohsson,  vi.  9. 

^  Ibid.  vii.  177.  In  1537,  Junis  Bey  (below,  p.  265)  says  that  Ayas  had  600 
slaves,  Mustapha  200,  Kassim  150,  Barbarossa  100.  But  this  account  must  con- 
tain misprints  or  errors;  for  Ramberti  (below,  p.  246)  says  that  in  1534,  Ibrahim 
had  more  than  6000  slaves,  Ayas  2000,  Kassim  1500,  and  Barbarossa  about  4000. 
Bragadin,  103,  said  in  1526,  that  Ibrahim  had  1500  slaves.  Mustapha  700,  Ayas 
600.  Junis  Bey  (256-258)  says  further  that  the  Beylerbcys  of  Rumeha  and  Ana- 
tolia and  Caramania  had  1000  slaves  each,  the  Beylerbey  of  Syria  2000,  the  Beyler- 
bey  of  Cairo  4000,  etc.  Iskender  Chelebi  had  6000  slaves  (Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii. 
144).  GeuiJroy,  240,  says  of  the  viziers:  "  Tous  ont  saray  de  femmes  et  d'enfans 
comme  ledict  grant  Turc."  See  also  Menavino,  143;  and  Ramberti's  description  of 
Alvise  Gritti's  household  at  the  close  of  his  third  book. 


family  feature  but  all  the  other  features  of  the  Ruling  Institution 
were  imitated.  All  deemed  it  meritorious  to  purchase  Christians 
and  turn  them  into  Moslems.  Iskender  Chelebi  had  a  highly 
successful  educational  system;^  he  also  kept  a  little  standing 
army,  and  at  a  later  time  so  did  Rustcm.'^  Each  great  officer 
protected  his  slaves,  each  kept  them  about  him  like  a  court, 
each  used  them  as  a  little  government  to  rule  his  affairs.  Such 
imitation  might  easily  become  a  danger  to  the  state,  but  ordinarily 
a  prompt  remedy  could  be  applied.  Every  such  household  was 
strictly  personal ;  it  was  gathered  about  a  living  man;  that  man 
was  ordinarily  himself  a  slave  of  the  sultan:  let  him  show  the 
least  movement  toward  treason,  and  his  head  would  be  removed, 
his  property  would  come  to  his  master,  his  household  would  be 
incorporated  with  the  central  slave-family,  all  danger  would 
be  at  an  end,  and  the  sultan  would  only  be  the  stronger.  Further 
safeguards  lay  in  the  close  relations  of  the  head  of  each  slave- 
family  to  the  sultan,  and  in  the  fact  that  some  Spahis  of  the 
Porte  and  other  imperial  kullar  of  inferior  position  seem  usually 
to  have  been  attached  to  the  suite  of  each  great  official.'  Moslem 
private  citizens  also  kept  slave-families  as  numerous  as  they 
could  afford,'*  but  these  could  hardly  become  dangerous  under 
any  circumstances.  They  might  emulate  the  missionary  and 
educational  character  of  the  greater  households,  but  they  would 
not  dare  attempt  any  imitation  of  the  military  features.  Further, 
the  whole  Ottoman  system  so  discouraged  great  accumulations 
of  wealth  that  private  citizens  could  never  hope  to  compete 
with  the  power  of  officials  and  of  the  sultan. 

^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  157.  Seven  of  his  slaves  became  viziers  and  grand 
viziers,  among  them  Mohammed  Sokolli. 

2  Iskender  Chelebi  was  followed  to  war  by  1 200  horsemen  (Hammer,  Geschichte, 
iii.  144).  Rustcm  trained  200  carbineers  as  part  of  his  household  (Busbecq,  Life 
and  Letters,  i.  242). 

'  Garzoni,  413,  says  that  1000  Spahis  were  assigned  to  the  retinue  of  the  grand 
vizier,  and  500  to  those  of  each  of  the  other  pashas. 

*  Traclalus,  ch.  vii. 


Character  of  Ottoman  Slavery 

Ottoman  slavery  was  a  very  different  institution  from  that 
which  Anglo-Saxons  have  practised.  In  it  there  could  ordinarily 
be  no  color-line,  and  therefore  no  ineffaceable  distinction.  Where 
difference  in  color  existed  it  counted  for  nothing,  by  old  Islamic 
customs.  Nor  did  the  fact  of  slavery  impart  any  indeUble 
taint.  Islam  knew  slave  and  free;  ^  in  the  Ottoman  Empire, 
at  least,  it  knew  no  intermediate  class  of  freedmen.^  The 
sultan  seems  never  to  have  emancipated  his  slaves,  probably 
because  of  a  Hngering  Oriental  theory,  foreign  to  Mohamme- 
danism,^ that  all  his  subjects  were  his  slaves.  Private  citizens 
had  the  power  of  emancipation,^  and  they  often  exercised  it  as 
a  meritorious  act.  The  slave  who  was  set  free  was  immediately 
in  possession  of  full  rights.^  Slavery  had  therefore  no  inherent 
quahty.  It  was  merely  an  accidental  misfortune  from  which 
complete  recovery  was  possible.  The  idea  of  Aristotle,  that 
some  men  are  born  to  be  slaves,  was  wholly  absent. 

Where  no  permanent  wall  of  separation  exists,  natural  human 
affection  can  have  free  play.  The  Moslem  religion  teaches 
kindness  and  benevolence  to  all  but  armed  enemies  of  the  faith.^ 
Moslem  masters,  in  constant  personal  association  with  persons 
whose  condition  led  them  to  strive  to  please,  were  apt  to  be- 
come very  friendly  toward  them.  Such  friendliness  often  led  to 
warm  affection  and  the  bestowal  of  benefits.  Emancipation  was 
one  of  these;  and,  further,  not  only  the  sultan  but  many  of 
his  subjects  did  not  hesitate  to  give  their  daughters  in  mar- 
riage to  worthy  slaves.'^    A  slave  was  often  beloved  above  a 

^  D'Ohsson,  i.  49. 

2  In  the  early  days  non-Arab  converts  held  a  position  of  clientage,  but  they  had 
never  been  slaves.  In  the  Ottoman  Empire  new  converts  were  particularly  honored, 
so  that  this  distinction  was  lost.  A  partial  enfranchisement  was  possible,  and  might 
sometimes  resemble  the  condition  of  a  Roman  freedman.  Cf.  D'Ohsson,  vi. 
28  ff. 

3  According  to  D'Ohsson,  v.  86,  no  free-bom  Moslem  could  ever  lawfully  become 
a  slave. 

^  D'Ohsson,  vi.  24.  ^  Ibid.  ^  Ibid.  iv.  300  ff. 

^  Spandugino,  180.  It  may  be  observed  that  Ottoman  slavery  bore  no  slight 
resemblance  to  the  method  of  bondage  which  brought  from  Europe  many  ancestors 
of  present-day  Americans.     "In  the  year  1730,"  says  Mrs.  Susannah  Willard 


son;^  it  was  felt  that,  while  a  son  possessed  a  character  which 
was  more  or  less  a  matter  of  chance,  a  slave  had  been  selected. 
Thus  it  is  clear  why  the  sultan's  slaves  were  sometimes  called 
his  children,^  and  why  the  title  of  kul  was  prized.'  Suleiman 
was  a  stern,  and  sometimes  a  cruel  parent  to  his  great  family; 
but  he  was  as  just  in  rewarding  as  in  punishing,  and  it  is  not 
surprising  that  all  his  slaves  were  true  to  him.'* 

Thus  was  woven  what  has  well  been  termed  "  a  wonderful 
fabric  of  slavery."  ^  History  may  have  known  as  large  a  slave- 
family,  but  certainly  none  that  was  more  powerful  and  honorable, 
better  provided  for  and  rewarded,  more  obedient  and  more 

Johnson  (in  her  Narrative  of  Captivity  reprinted  Springfield,  1907,  pp.  5-6)  "  my 
great-uncle,  Colonel  Josiah  VVillard,  while  at  Boston,  was  invited  to  take  a  walk 
on  the  long-wharf,  to  view  some  transports  who  had  just  landed  from  Ireland;  a 
number  of  gentlemen  present  were  viewing  the  exercise  of  some  lads  who  were 
placed  on  shore  to  exhibit  their  activitj'  to  those  who  wished  to  purchase.  My 
uncle  spied  a  boy  of  some  vivacity,  of  about  ten  years  of  age,  and  who  was  the  only 
one  in  the  crew  who  spoke  English:  he  bargained  for  him.  I  have  never  been  able 
to  learn  the  price;  but  as  he  was  afterwards  my  husband,  I  am  willing  to  suppose  it 
a  considerable  sum.  .  .  .  He  lived  with  Colonel  Willard  until  he  was  twenty  years 
of  age,  and  then  bought  the  other  year  of  his  time."  In  this  account  a  number  of 
the  characteristics  of  the  Ottoman  system  can  be  observed.  Young  boys  of  Cau- 
casian blood  are  taken  from  their  native  land;  they  are  bought  and  sold;  they  are 
judged  like  young  animals  by  appearance  and  physical  activity;  no  taint  attaches 
to  their  bondage;  they  may  marry  into  the  master's  family.  The  one  noteworthy 
difference  is  that  the  bondage  terminates  at  a  definite  age. 

1  rr(;r/a/«,y,  "  Oratio  Tcstimonialis  ":  "  Dcnique  domino  meo  ita  cams  eram, 
ut  saepius  in  collocutione  plurium,  plusquam  filium  suum,  quem  unicum  habebat, 
me  diligere  assereret,"  etc. 

2  Postel,  iii.  20,  says  that  all  the  pages  were  considered  children  of  the  sultan, 
and  were  truly  his  adopted  sons. 

3  Ricaut,  14.  *  Postel,  iii.  21.  ^  Ricaut,  16. 



I.   The  Missionary  Motive 

Although  almost  every  member  of  the  governing  group  in  the 
Ottoman  Empire  had  been  born  a  Christian,  it  was  absolutely 
necessary  for  his  advancement  that  he  should  profess  the  Moslem 
faith.  A  keen  contemporary  observer  knew  of  only  one  Chris- 
tian who  had  been  entrusted  with  great  power.  Alvise  Gritti 
was  allowed  to  hold  special  command  in  Hungary,  but  this 
appointment  was  made  outside  the  system,  as  a  personal  affair 
of  the  grand  vizier  Ibrahim,  without  the  concurrence  of  the 
sultan.^  Various  Christians  were  employed  in  such  matters  as 
the  superintendence  of  ship-building  and  cannon-founding ;  ^ 
but  this  was  a  purely  commercial  relationship,  and  such  a  man 
had  no  place  in  the  cursus  honorum.  The  fundamental  rule, 
open  to  the  few  exceptions  previously  described,  was  very  simple. 
Every  member  of  the  Ruling  Institution  must  have  been  born 
a  Christian  and  must  have  become  a  Mohammedan. 

A  number  of  questions  arise  at  once.  Why  were  none  but  sons 
of  Christians  admitted  ?  Why  was  conversion  essential  to 
promotion  ?  What  was  the  process  of  accomplishing  conver- 
sion ?  How  thorough  was  the  conversion  ?  Why  were  the 
sons  of  most  of  the  converts,  and  the  grandsons  of  practically 
all,  carefully  pushed  out  of  the  system  ? 

The  first  of  these  questions  might  be  answered  in  terms  of 
poHcy  of  state;  but  since,  in  all  Moslem  thinking,  church,  state, 
and  society  form  one  undivided  whole,  such  an  answer  would  be 
inadequate.  Conversion  to  Mohammedanism  meant  much 
more  than  an  inward  change  and  an  outward  association  for 
rehgious  purposes  with  a  new  group  of  worshippers.     It  meant 

^  Postel,  Hi.  21.  ^  Ibid.  71-72;  Ramberti,  below,  p.  255, 



the  adoption  of  a  new  law  for  the  whole  of  hfe,  beginning  with 
the  religious  and  ethical,  but  including  as  equally  essential 
portions  the  regulation  of  all  social,  commercial,  military,  and 
political  relationships.^  It  meant  admission  to  a  new  social 
system,  naturalization  in  a  new  nation,  an  entire  separation 
from  the  old  life  in  all  its  aspects  and  a  complete  incorporation 
with  the  new.  Expansion  of  membership  was  always  a  cardinal 
principle  of  Mohammedanism;  and  the  expansion  was  to  be  not 
merely  by  the  aid  of  the  sword,  but  far  more  by  peaceful  means. 
The  sword  took  the  land  and  sometimes  the  body  of  the  unbe- 
liever; but  his  soul  was  to  be  won  by  the  benefits  of  the  system, 
first  religious,  then  social,  financial,  and  political.^  Every 
nation  that  has  reached  eminence  has  believed  firmly  that  its 
general  system  was  immensely  the  superior  of  every  other  in  the 
world,  and  no  nations  have  been  more  thoroughly  convinced 
of  this  than  those  of  Moslem  faith.  Accordingly,  their  desire 
to  convert  the  unbehever  was  founded  primarily  on  benevolence. 
Closely  connected  with  this  motive  was  a  burning  interest  in  the 
grandeur  of  Islam  as  a  militant,  expanding  system;  and  subor- 
dinate thereto  was  a  purpose  to  increase  the  wealth,  numbers,  and 
power  of  the  state. 

The  Ottoman  Attitude 

The  Ottoman  system  incorporated  young  Christians  not 
merely  to  obtain  more  faithful,  more  obedient,  and  more  single- 
hearted  servants,  but,  before  and  beyond  this,  to  obtain  new 
members  of  the  Ottoman  nationahty,  new  believers  in  the 
Moslem  faith,  and  new  warriors  for  the  Ottoman  Empire  as 
representing  Islam.  This  missionary  purpose  stands  out  very 
clearly  in  the  words  attributed  to  Kara  Khalil  Chendereli,  the 
traditional  founder  of  the  corps  of  Janissaries,  by  a  poet-historian 
of  the  early  sixteenth  century,  who  no  doubt  here,  as  elsewhere 
in  his  writings,  introduced  the  ideas  of  his  own  day:    ''  The 

1  HsimmeT,  Staalsverfassung,  12. 

2  According  to  Sale's  translation,  the  Koran  says  (Sura  2:  257),  "Let  there 
be  no  violence  in  religion."  Palmer  translates,  "  There  is  no  compulsion  in  re- 
ligion."    See  D'Ohsson,  vi.  59;  Schiltberger,  73. 


conquered  are  slaves  of  the  conquerors,  to  whom  their  goods, 
their  women,  and  their  children  belong  as  a  lawful  possession; 
in  converting  the  children  to  Islam  by  force,  and  in  enrolling 
them  as  soldiers  in  the  service  of  the  faith,  one  is  working  for 
their  happiness  in  this  world  and  their  eternal  salvation.  Accord- 
ing to  the  words  of  the  Prophet,  every  infant  comes  into  the 
world  with  the  beginnings  of  Islam,  which,  developing  in  an 
army  formed  of  Christian  children,  will  encourage  even  in  that 
of  the  infidels  the  ardor  of  conversion  to  Islam;  and  the  new 
troop  will  recruit  itself  not  merely  with  the  children  of  the  con- 
quered, but  also  with  a  crowd  of  deserters  from  the  enemy, 
united  to  the  behevers  by  common  origin  or  pretended  opinions. ' '  ^ 
The  sentiment  of  this  declaration  is  woven  of  two  strands,  both 
ultimately  religious,  —  a  desire  to  convert  great  numbers  to 
Islam,  and  a  purpose  to  strengthen  the  army  which  wars  for  the 

Mohammed  the  Conqueror  expressed  the  same  idea  poetically 
in  a  letter  to  Uzun  Hassan:  "  Our  empire  is  the  home  of  Islam; 
from  father  to  son  the  lamp  of  our  empire  is  kept  burning  with 
oil  from  the  hearts  of  the  infidels."  ^  This  declaration  seems  to 
reveal  two  things.  First,  the  Conqueror  asserts  that,  since  by 
Moslem  theory  there  can  be  but  one  Dar  ul-Islam,  or  land  of 
Islam,  his  empire  is  the  sole  lawful  Moslem  state;  second,  he 
declares  that,  by  the  policy  of  his  house,  the  empire  derives  its 
strength  from  the  ever-renewed  supply  of  Christians.  Whether 
this  exegesis  be  exact  or  not,  the  fact  is  indisputable  that  the 
fundamental  missionary  spirit  of  Islam  was  strong  in  the  Otto- 
mans of  the  sixteenth  century,^  and  that  the  RuHng  Institution 
was  deliberately  conducted  for  the  purpose,  among  others,  of 
transferring  the  ablest  and  most  useful  of  the  subject  Christians 
in  each  generation  into  the  dominant  nation.  As  the  first 
Western   observer   who   comprehended   the   system   remarked, 

^  Idris,  fol.  107,  quoted  in  Hammer's  Geschichie,  i.  91. 

2  Quotedibid.  ii.  117. 

3  Ricaut,  147-148:  "  No  people  in  the  World  have  ever  been  more  open  to 
receive  all  sorts  of  Nations  to  them,  than  they,  nor  have  used  more  arts  to  encrease 
the  number  of  those  that  are  called  Turks." 


"  This  comes  from  no  accident,  but  from  a  certain  essential 
interior  foundation  and  cause,  which,"  he  feels  it  his  Christian 
duty  to  say,  with  a  helpless  admiration,  "  is  desperation  of  good, 
and  obstinacy  in  evil,  and  ...  is  the  work  of  the  devil."  ^ 
Not  only  did  Mohammedanism  encourage  the  practice  of  taking 
in  outsiders  to  serve,  fight,  and  aid  in  ruling,  but  this  practice 
was  thoroughly  in  harmony  with  the  old  Turkish  spirit  which 
prevailed  in  the  steppe  lands,  and  a  similar  policy  had  been 
followed  by  the  Byzantine  Empire.  Thus,  in  encouraging  the 
incorporation  of  foreigners  the  three  great  influences  which 
met  in  the  Ottoman  state  had  exerted  a  combined  activity  as 
perhaps  in  no  other  direction.  The  Ruling  Institution  acted 
for  centuries  as  a  great  steadily-working  machine  for  conversion. 

Other  Motives  for  Incorporating  Christians 

Besides  the  combined  religious  and  national  purpose  which 
led  to  the  introduction  of  Christian  youth  into  the  system, 
other  motives  helped  to  give  it  definite  shape.  That  purpose 
alone  would  hardly  have  caused  a  rigid  rule  to  be  laid  down 
wliich  would  exclude  Mohammedans.  Here,  undoubtedly,' 
the  well-known  tendency  of  governments  that  rest  on  force  to 
rely  upon  servants  brought  from  a  distance  and  owing  all  to 
their  favor  came  strongly  into  play.^  The  sultan's  ktdlar  were 
uniformly  faithful  to  the  hand  that  had  raised  them  from  poverty 
to  high  position.  "  Being  all  slaves  by  condition,  and  slaves  of 
a  single  lord,  from  whom  alone  they  hope  for  greatness,  honor, 
and  riches,  and  from  whom  alone  on  the  other  hand  they  fear 
punishment,  chastisement,  and  death,  what  wonder  that  in  his 
presence  and  in  rivalry  with  each  other  they  will  do  stupendous 
things  ?  "  ^  Having  expected  ill  treatment  from  the  enemies 
of  their  nation,  they  were  drawn  by  the  surprising  contrast  to 
deep  gratitude  and  boundless  devotion;  ■*  they  were  not  attached 
to  interests  and  traditions  of  family  and  property  which  would 
prevent  full  and  loyal  obedience;  they  learned  what  was  taught 

'  Tractdlus,  ch.  viii.  '  Bernardo,  369-370,  and  see  also  359. 

^  Ricaut,  46.  *  Postel,  iii.  21. 


them  by  their  master's  command,  and  were  not  possessed  by 
ideas  and  prejudices  that  would  make  them  independent  in  mind 
and  intractable.  On  the  contrary,  Moslems  born  and  bred  in 
pride  of  religion  and  nationality  could  not  easily  be  moulded  to 
the  shape  desired ;  the  very  title  of  kul  was  out  of  harmony  with 
their  beliefs;  hence  they  were  inherently  unavailable  for  the 
system,  and  the  recognition  of  this  fact  led  to  their  rigid  exclu- 
sion. An  important  reason  for  excluding  children  of  renegades 
was  that  heredity  of  privilege  and  office  was  against  Ottoman 
policy.  The  immunity  from  taxation  that  was  enjoyed  by  the 
sultan's  officials  would  tend  to  the  building  up  of  vast  fortunes 
that  would  be  beyond  the  reach  of  public  taxation;^  and  the 
power  of  great  families  entrenched  behind  large  property  interests 
would  in  time  endanger  the  supremacy  of  the  throne.^ 

The  Requirement  of  Conversion 

Conversion  was  a  principal  object  of  the  system,  and  favor 
and  promotion  waited  as  rewards  upon  acceptance  of  the  Moslem 
faith.  In  fact,  a  young  man  was  not  fitted  to  participate  in  the 
system  until  he  had  turned  Moslem.  He  could  not  be  an  Otto- 
man warrior  and  statesman  and  fail  to  profess  and  practise,  in 
most  respects,  at  any  rate,  the  system  which  inspired  his  fighting 
and  on  whose  principles  the  state  rested.  The  garment  was 
seamless:  it  must  be  either  worn  or  not  worn. 

At  the  same  time,  conversion  of  the  neophytes  of  the  Ruling 
Institution  seems  not  ordinarily  to  have  been  forcible.^     The 

1  Ibid.  20.  2  Ricaut,  128  ff. 

^  The  general  Ottoman  attitude  on  this  point  is  shown  by  Schiltberger,  73: 
Mohammed  "  has  also  ordered,  that  when  they  overcome  Christians,  they  should 
not  kill  them;  but  they  should  pervert  them,  and  should  thus  spread  and  strengthen 
their  own  faith."  Tractalus,  ch.  xi,  says,  "  Turci  neminem  cogunt  Fidem  suam 
negare,  nee  multum  instant  de  hoc  alicui  persuadendo,  nee  magnam  aestimationem 
faciunt  de  his  qui  negant."  The  last  clause  of  this  testimony,  however,  is  contrary 
to  practically  all  other  sources.  Conversion  seems  sometimes  to  have  been  forced 
as  an  alternative  to  death  when  a  Christian  had  offended  greatly  against  the 
Mohammedan  faith  (Lonicerus,  i.  123;  see  also  D'Ohsson,  vii.  327).  Some  writers, 
however,  assert  that  circumcision,  the  outward  mark  of  acceptance  of  Islam,  was 
regiilarly  enforced  upon  the  tribute  boys  (Chesneau,  41 ;  J.  Soranzo,  245;  Moro- 
sini,  as  quoted  above,  p.  41).  Heidbom,  128,  says  that  conversion  was  not 
anciently  enforced  on  a  large  scale,  except  for  the  recruiting  of  Janissaries. 


Ottomans  were  too  wise  to  believe  that  the  best  results  could  be 
accomplished  by  such  means.  Their  policy  was  rather  to  throw 
every  difficulty  in  the  way  of  remaining  a  Christian,  and  to  offer 
every  inducement  to  make  the  Moslem  faith  and  system  seem 
attractive.  To  this  end  their  educational  scheme  helped  greatly ;  ^ 
for  it  involved  complete  isolation  from  Christian  ideas  of  every 
sort,  and  complete  saturation  in  all  the  ideas  of  Mohammedanism, 
religious,  moral,  social,  and  poHtical.  Even  those  whose  educa- 
tion was  mainly  physical  were  isolated  from  Christians  in  a 
strict  Moslem  environment.  No  doubt  there  were  special 
rejoicings  and  rewards  when  a  kul  was  ready  to  declare,  "  There 
is  no  God  but  Allah  and  Mohammed  is  His  Prophet,"  as  there 
were  in  like  circumstances  in  the  rest  of  the  Ottoman  world.^ 
But  the  kullar  seem  not  to  have  been  urged  to  change  their  faith; 
on  the  contrary,  an  attitude  of  apparent  indifference  was  some- 
times taken  with  them.'^  Probably,  however,  few  who  remained 
long  in  the  system  failed  to  surrender  sooner  or  later.  Prej- 
udices of  childhood  would  in  time  be  overcome;  what  the 
majority  did  would  tend  to  act  powerfully  upon  the  individual; 
the  reward  of  a  brilliant  career  would  take  clearer  and  more 
alluring  shape,  until  in  time,  in  the  absence  of  all  contrary  sug- 
gestion, the  real  truth  and  value  of  the  Mohammedan  religion 
would  make  it  appear  to  be  the  only  worthy  system.  It  is  not 
surprising  that  the  scheme  seemed  to  Christians  one  of  diabolical 

What  went  on  in  the  sultan's  slave-family  in  regard  to  the 
conversion  of  slaves  went  on  in  every  Mohammedan  household. 
Conversion  was  desired  but  not  compelled,  and  reward  awaited 
it.^  Among  female  slaves  also,  even  in  the  imperial  harem,  the 
same  process  was  employed.  Not  merely  the  imperial  slave- 
family,  but  the  entire  system  of  slavery  that  existed  in  the  Otto- 

1  Ricaut,  46  ff. 

"^  Schiltbergcr,  74;  La  Broquicre,  219;  Spandugino,  249.  Ricaut,  152,  saj-s  that 
great  inducement  was  offered  the  common  people  to  become  Turks;  they  obtained 
honor  and  the  privilege  to  domineer  and  injure  with  impunity,  and  they  became 
in  the  fashion. 

^  Tnictaliis,  ch.  xi,  quoted  above. 

*  D'Ohsson,  vi.  59;  Ricaut,  148. 


man  Empire,  was  thus  a  great  machine  for  the  conversion  of 
Christians  into  Turks. 

Sincerity  of  Conversion 

It  is  not  easy  to  learn  what  thoughts  possessed  the  hearts  of 
the  members  of  the  Ruling  Institution.  Enough  is  recorded, 
however,  to  show  that  not  all  who  turned  Moslem  did  so  without 
mental  reservation,  and  to  prove  that  it  was  possible  to  hold 
fast  to  an  inward  belief  in  the  superiority  of  Christianity  through 
many  years  spent  in  the  sultan's  ser\dce.  It  has  been  said 
sometimes  that  the  converted  Christians  were  more  severe  than 
the  Moslems  toward  their  brethren  who  remained  steadfatet.^ 
This  would  be  natural  both  because  of  the  zeal  of  new  converts, 
and  because  Christianity  is  intrinsically  less  tolerant  than  Mo- 
hammedanism ;  but  the  accusation  does  not  seem  to  be  supported 
as  against  the  members  of  the  Ruling  Institution.  A  distinction 
must  be  drawn  between  behavior  in  time  of  war  and  in  time  of 
peace.  The  Janissaries  were  fierce  fighters  and  terrible  enemies; 
but  religiously  they  belonged  to  a  sect  which  was  so  liberal  as  to 
be  accused  of  rank  heresy,  and  even,  it  is  said,  to  have  been 
denied  the  name  of  true  believers.^  Many  of  the  renegades 
were  persons  who  held  no  sort  of  religion.^  The  grand  vizier 
Rustem  told  Busbecq,  after  offering  him  great  rewards  if  he 
would  turn  Moslem,  that  he  believed  in  the  salvation  of  those  of 
other  faiths;^  and  a  deli,  or  scout,  in  his  service  confided  to  a 
French  gentleman  that,  while  he  pretended  to  follow  Mohamme- 
danism, he  was  a  Christian  at  heart.^  The  fact  that  a  Genoese 
boy,  taken  at  twelve  years  of  age,  educated  as  a  favored  page  for 
eight  or  nine  years,  and  evidently  trained  carefully  in  Moham- 
medan behefs,  would  seize  the  first  opportunity  to  escape  shows 
what  was  possible  beneath  the  surface.^  Two  generations 
earher  there  was  a  renegade  who  cursed  the  day  when  he  had 

^  Tractatus,  ch.  v;  Nicolay,  86. 

*  Ricaut,  284. 

'  Bernardo,  367;  Zane,  as  quoted  above,  p.  42.     See  also  Jorga,  iii.  188. 

*  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  235. 

^  Nicolay,  160-161.  ^  Menavino,  244. 


turned  Turk,  but  wh(3  felt  that  he  could  not  go  back.^  Nor 
were  the  members  of  the  system  always  submissive  to  the  stricter 
rules  of  Mohammedan  ethics.  The  Janissaries,  for  example, 
forced  Bayezid  II  to  reopen  the  wine  shops  of  the  capital,  which 
in  the  religious  fervor  of  his  later  years  he  had  ordered  closed ;  ^ 
and  the  members  of  the  government  were  led  by  fondness  for 
display  and  lavish  expenditure  into  shameless  venality,  the 
cause  and  the  effect  being  equally  contrary  to  the  teachings  and 
example  of  Mohammed.  The  probability  is  that  large  numbers 
of  the  sultan's  slaves  were  merely  nominal  Mohammedans  in 
religious  belief,  though  they  necessarily  followed  the  larger  part 
of  the  Moslem  scheme  of  life. 

Effect  of  the  Process 

Sons  of  Janissaries  were  not  allowed  to  become  Janissaries, 
although  the  rule  began  to  be  infringed  about  the  end  of  Sulei- 
man's reign.^  Sons  of  Spahis  of  the  Porte  might  be  admitted 
as  pages  and  to  the  corps  of  Spahi-ogJdans,  but  their  grandsons 
were  rigidly  excluded.^  Sons  of  great  officials  were  provided 
with  fiefs,  or  pensions,  and  so  usually  passed  out  of  the  Ruling 
Institution  into  the  territorial  army.^  Thus  few  were  allowed 
in  the  scheme  beyond  the  first  generation  in  the  Moslem  faith, 
and  almost  none  beyond  the  second.  The  explanation  of  this 
has  been  given  already:  descendants  of  renegades  were  Moslems, 
and  hence  subject  to  the  same  disqualifications  as  members  of 
Mohammedan  families  of  long  standing.  Not  all  Moslems  of 
the  empire  were  counted  Ottomans,  or,  as  they  called  themselves, 
Osmanlis,  or,  as  they  are  commonly  called  nowadays,  Turks; 

^  Tractatus,  ch.  xxi. 

2  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  351. 

'  Georgevitz  (before  1552),  40,  "  De  Ordine  Peditum  ";  Ranke,  19-20;  Barbaro 
(1573)?  3°5f  317-  Selim  II,  on  his  accession  granted  to  the  Janissaries  the  formal 
privilege  of  entering  their  sons  in  the  corps;  for  the  Persian  war  of  1594  the  corps 
was  opened  to  other  Turks  and  all  Moslems.  By  1592,  the  majority  of  the 
Janissaries  were  said  to  be  sons  of  Turks;  Bernardo,  332.     See  also  Knolles  (ed. 

1687),  985. 

*  Postel,  iii.  20. 

'  Kanun-nameh  of  Mohammed  II,  printed  in  Hammer's  Staalsverfassung,  94. 


for  Arabs,  Kurds,  and  other  Mohammedans  who  had  not  adopted 
the  Turkish  language  did  not  bear  the  Turkish  name.  But  all 
the  descendants  of  members  of  the  Ruling  Institution  were 
added  to  the  Ottoman-Turkish  nationality.  The  total  number 
of  Janissaries  in  the  three  centuries  during  which  they  were 
recruited  from  Christian  children  has  been  estimated  at  five 
hundred  thousand;^  but,  as  reckoned  above,  the  tribute  boys 
furnished  less  than  one-half  of  the  recruits  of  the  institution,^ 
and  the  page  system  persisted  in  its  original  form  after  the 
Janissaries  had  become  hereditary.  From  one  to  two  millions 
of  the  flower  of  the  Christian  population  must  have  been  brought 
into  the  Ottoman  nation  by  the  operation  of  the  Ruling  Institu- 

It  does  not  necessarily  follow  that  a  like  number  of  new  Turkish 
families  were  thus  founded.  The  Janissaries  were  not  supposed 
to  marry,  although  the  rule  was  not  strictly  enforced ;  ^  a  hundred 
years  later,  at  any  rate,  the  majority  are  said  to  have  been 
unmarried.*  As  the  Spahis  of  the  Porte  probably  married  late, 
when  they  married  at  all,  the  whole  system  had  thus  something 
of  a  monastic  aspect.^  High  officials,  it  is  true,  were  apt  to  keep 
harems  of  some  size;  yet  the  children  even  of  these  were  ordi- 
narily few  in  number.^  Furthermore,  the  frequent  fierce  wars 
carried  off  many  of  the  sultan's  slaves,  and  the  danger  of  execu- 
tion and  of  confiscation  of  property  put  a  check  on  their  estab- 
lishment of  famihes.  It  is  probable,  therefore,  that  the  Ruling 
Institution,  like  most  great  slave-famihes,  was  wasteful  of  human 
life.^     But  although  its  Christian-born  members  may  not  have 

^  Hammer's  Geschichte,  i.  94. 
2  See  p.  49. 

*  Spandugino  (15 17),  108,  says  that  the  Janissaries  are  not  allowed  to  marry. 
He  was  probably  wrong.  Certainly  some  were  married  soon  after  his  time:  Ram- 
berti  (1534),  below,  p.  249;  Junis  Bey  (1537),  below,  p.  267;  Nicolay  (i55i),92. 

*  Ricaut,  366. 

^  The  resemblance  of  the  Janissaries  to  monks  is  noticed  by  Busbecq,  Life  aiid 
Letters,  i.  88,  and  Tavernier,  12. 

*  Ricaut,  151. 

^  One  careful  observer  thought  that  this  might  be  true  of  the  whole  Ottoman 
nation.  Ibid.,  but  in  the  middle  of  the  fifteenth  century  contrary  testimony  was 
given  {Tractatus,  ch.  xi). 


perpetuated  their  numbers,  they  nevertheless  increased  the 
Ottoman  nation  by  the  addition  of  such  children  as  were  born  to 
them;  and  the  Moslem  descendants  of  these,  sailing  in  quieter 
waters,  doubtless  became,  both  numerically  and  otherwise,  a 
great  strength  to  the  nation. 

II.  The  Educational  Scheme 

Plato  would  have  been  delighted  with  the  training  of  the 
sultan's  great  family,  though  his  nature  would  have  revolted 
from  its  lowliness  of  birth.  He  would  have  approved  of  the 
life-long  education,  the  equally  careful  training  of  body  and  mind, 
the  separation  into  soldiers  and  rulers  (even  though  it  was  not 
complete),  the  relative  freedom  from  family  ties,  the  system's 
rigid  control  of  the  individual,  and,  above  all,  of  the  govern- 
ment by  the  wise.  Whether  the  founders  of  the  Ottoman 
system  were  acquainted  with  Plato  will  probably  never  be  known, 
but  they  seem  to  have  come  as  near  to  his  plan  as  it  is  possible 
to  come  in  a  workable  scheme.  In  some  practical  ways  they 
even  improved  upon  Plato,  —  as  by  avoiding  the  uncertainties 
of  heredity,  by  supplying  a  personal  directing  power,  by  insuring 
permanence  through  a  balance  of  forces,  and  by  making  their 
system  capable  of  vast  imperial  rule. 

In  the  largest  sense  the  Ruling  Institution  was  a  school  in 
which  the  pupils  were  enrolled  for  life.  Constantly  under 
careful  drill  and  discipline,  they  advanced  from  stage  to  stage 
through  all  their  days,  rewarded  systematically  in  accordance  with 
their  deserts  by  promotions,  honors,  and  gifts,  and  punished  rigor- 
ously for  infraction  of  rules,  while  both  rewards  and  punishments 
increased  from  stage  to  stage  until  the  former  included  all  that 
life  under  the  Moslem  scheme  could  olTer,  and  the  latter  threat- 
ened to  take  away  the  life  itself.  The  system  also  cared  for  all 
sides  of  the  nature  of  its  pupils,  subject  to  the  considerable 
limitation  that  it  was  especially  a  school  of  war  and  government. 
The  bodies  of  all  were  trained  as  thoroughly  as  were  the  minds 
of  the  best.  Though  all  received  some  mental  training,  includ- 
ing at  least  an  acquaintance  with  the  Moslem  mode  of  life,  the 
ablest  were  put  through  a  severe  course  in  Oriental  languages 


and  Moslem  and  Ottoman  law,  which  embraced  ethics  and  theol- 
ogy. Thus  both  body  and  mind,  as  well  as  the  religious  nature, 
were  provided  for  systematically  and  through  hfe.  Looked  at 
thus,  the  Ottoman  educational  scheme,  in  its  relations  to  the 
whole  lives  of  those  under  instruction,  was  more  comprehensive 
than  any  Western  institution  of  learning.  The  officers  of  a 
Western  army  are  educated  and  organized  in  a  life-long  system 
which  provides  for  both  body  and  mind;  but  they  do  not  learn 
theology  and  they  do  not  govern  the  nation.  Great  American 
railroads  and  manufacturing  corporations  possess  schemes  of 
education  and  advancement  which  bear  comparison  to  the  Otto- 
man system  in  life-long  scope,  promotion  for  merit,  and  the 
possibility  of  rising  from  the  bottom  to  the  top;  but  the  mental 
training  which  they  give  even  to  their  ablest  helpers  is  of  a  highly 
technical  sort,  which  bears  no  comparison  to  the  general  learning 
and  finished  culture  bestowed  upon  the  most  studious  in  the 
Ottoman  scheme.  In  general,  Western  universities  and  educa- 
tional systems,  although  they  far  surpass  the  Ottoman  scheme 
in  the  scope  and  character  of  the  intellectual  training  which  they 
give,  do  not  provide  a  comparable  systematic  training  of  the  body; 
and  their  control  over  the  lives  of  their  students  ceases  early. 
The  superior  comprehensiveness  of  the  Ottoman  system  was, 
of  course,  based  upon  the  fact  that  its  members  were  slaves. 
Their  master  could  keep  them  at  school  all  their  lives,  in  order 
that  they  might  become  better  and  better  trained  to  serve  him. 
At  the  same  time,  reward  was  considered  more  potent  than  the 
rod.  Unequalled  prizes  were  offered  in  this  school,  so  skilfully 
disposed  and  graded  as  to  call  out  the  utmost  strivings  and  the 
best  work  of  every  pupil. 

The  first  stages  of  the  wide  scheme,  which  constitute  the 
educational  system  in  its  narrower  sense,  were  a  fitting  intro- 
duction to  the  rest.  All  the  recruits  for  the  sultan's  slave-family, 
whether  captured,  bought,  presented,  or  levied,  to  the  number 
of  probably  three  or  four  thousand  annually,  with  an  addition 
of  ten  or  twelve  thousand  in  the  years  of  the  devshurmeh,^  were 
brought  by  a  regular  process  before  trained  officials,  carefully 

^  See  the  calculation  above,  p.  49. 


registered,  and  divided  into  two  classes.^  Those  who  best 
satisfied  the  criterions  of  bodily  perfection,  muscular  strength, 
and  intellectual  ability  so  far  as  it  could  be  judged  without  long 
testing,^  —  about  one  in  every  ten  of  the  whole  number,  —  were 
chosen  for  a  superior  quality  of  training,  especially  on  the  intel- 
lectual side.  The  remainder  were  destined  for  a  different  educa- 
tion, which  was  mainly  physical.^  The  first  regularly  became 
pages  and  Spahis  of  the  Porte,  and  the  ablest  of  them  rose  to  the 
great  offices  of  the  army  and  the  government.  The  others 
regularly  became  Ajem-oghlans  and  Janissaries,  but  the  ablest 
of  these  might  also  rise  to  positions  as  Spahis  of  the  Porte  and 
even  as  generals  and  officers  of  state."*  Failure  to  be  selected  for 
the  higher  school  was  not,  therefore,  a  final  restriction  to  low 
position.  Merit  was  recognized  everywhere,  and  regularly  led 
to  promotion.  At  the  same  time,  it  was  a  distinct  advantage 
to  a  young  man  to  be  chosen  for  the  higher  training,  since  he 
would  receive  greater  care,  would  acquire  more  of  both  ornamen- 
tal and  useful  learning,  and  would  associate  with  those  already 
great,  and  perhaps  with  the  sultan  himself. 

The  Colleges  of  Pages 

Of  those  selected  for  the  higher  training,  a  portion  were  dis- 
tributed among  the  households  of  the  provincial  governors  and 
high  officers  at  the  capital.^  These  were  probably  brought  up 
in  much  the  same  way  as  if  they  had  remained  with  the  sultan. 
The  very  choicest  of  the  recruits,  to  the  number  of  perhaps  two 
hundred  annually,  or   twelve  to  fifteen  hundred  in  all,^  were 

1  Navagero,  50;  Barbara,  316;  Nicolay,  84.  J.  Soranzo,  245,  states  that  the 
tribute  boys  were  all  brought  to  Constantinople,  circumcised,  and  brought  before 
the  Agha  of  the  Janissaries.  Record  was  made  of  the  name  of  each,  of  his  father's 
name,  and  of  his  native  place.  Soranzo's  accuracy  is  questionable,  as  when  he 
says  that  the  greater  part  were  put  into  palaces  in  Constantinople. 

2  Postel,  iii.  17;  Ricaut,  46. 

3  Ricaut,  74:  "  In  whom  appearing  more  strength  of  body  than  of  mind,  they 
are  set  apart  for  labor  and  menial  services." 

*  Busbecq,  De  Re  MilUari,  260. 

6  Spandugino,  104:  the  emperor  chooses  a  few  and  sends  the  rest  to  the  towns 
of  the  Turks  of  Anatolia  to  live  with  the  lords  and  gentlemen. 

8  Spandugino  speaks  of  900;  Junis  Bey  and  Ramberti,  1400;  Geuflroy,  1200; 
Postel,  1300  to  1500. 


taken  into  three  palaces  of  the  sultan  as  Itch-oghlans,  or  pages. 
Three  or  four  hundred  were  in  the  palace  at  Adrianople/  a  like 
number  in  one  at  Galata,^  and  from  five  to  eight  hundred  in  the 
principal  palace  at  Stamboul.'^  These  were  all  handsome  boys, 
physically  perfect,  and  of  marked  intellectual  promise.  An 
excellent  idea  of  the  international  character  of  the  college  is  given 
by  a  Venetian  writer,  who  said  that  the  pages  of  the  palace 
included  Bulgarians,  Hungarians,  Transylvanians,  Poles,  Bohe- 
mians, Germans,  Italians,  Spaniards,  a  few  French,  many 
Albanians,  Slavs,  Greeks,  Circassians,  and  Russians.^ 

The  Itch-oghlans  were  dressed  in  suitable  raiment  and  were  well 
cared  for  without  luxury.^  That  the  sultan  took  a  particular 
interest  in  the  arrival  of  excellent  specimens  is  evident  from  the 
reception  that  Menavino  received.^  The  general  Ottoman 
attitude  toward  the  pages,  and  indeed  toward  all  recruits,  has 
been  well  expressed  by  a  thoughtful  observer:  "  The  Turks 
rejoice  greatly  when  they  find  an  exceptional  man,  as  though 
they  had  acquired  a  precious  object,  and  they  spare  no  labor  or 
effort  in  cultivating  him;  especially  if  they  discern  that  he  is 
fit  for  war.  Our  plan  [that  is,  in  Western  Europe]  is  very  dif- 
ferent; for  if  we  find  a  good  dog,  hawk,  or  horse,  we  are  greatly 
dehghted,  and  we  spare  nothing  to  bring  it  to  the  greatest  per- 
fection of  its  kind.  But  if  a  man  happens  to  possess  an  extraordi- 
nary disposition,  we  do  not  take  like  pains;  nor  do  we  think 
that  his  education  is  especially  our  affair;  and  we  receive  much 
pleasure  and  many  kinds  of  service  from  the  well-trained  horse, 
dog,  and  hawk;  but  the  Turks  much  more  from  a  well-educated 
man  {ex  homine  bonis  morihus  informato),  in  proportion  as  the 
nature  of  a  man  is  more  admirable  and  more  excellent  than  that 
of  the  other  animals."  ^ 

1  Junis  Bey  and  Ramberti,  300;   Geuffroy,  300. 

2  Junis  Bey  and  Ramberti,  400;  Geuffroy,  400;  Postel  (iii.  20),  600  or  700. 

3  Junis  Bey  and  Ramberti,  700;   Geuffroy,  500;  Postel  (iii.  3),  700  or  Soo. 
*  Navagero,  42.    See  also  Tanco,  205. 

^  Menavino,  13.  Postel,  iii.  17,  says  that,  when  presented,  they  were  clothed 
in  silk  and  cloth  of  gold  or  silver;  but  Ricaut,  49,  says  that  their  clothing  and  diet 
were  simple. 

®  Menavino,  11  ff. 

^  Bushecq,DeReMilitari,262-26s. 


That  the  primary  object  of  the  page  system  was  educational 
appears  from  all  contemporary  observations.  Not  merely  are 
their  palaces  termed  "  places  for  nourishing  youths,"  ^  but 
Menavino  calls  the  place  where  he  was  taught  "  the  palace 
school."  -  Another  writer  gives  chapters  on  "  The  Education 
of  Young  Men  in  the  Seraglio,"  and  "  The  Studies  and  Learning 
in  the  Seraglio,"  ^  and  speaks  of  the  young  men  as  "  designed 
for  the  great  offices  of  the  empire."  Another  says,  "  And  the 
said  emperor  does  this  good  for  the  profit  of  his  soul,  and  when 
they  are  grown  up  he  takes  them  from  there  and  gives  them 
dignities  and  offices,  according  as  it  seems  to  the  emperor  they 
have  deserved."  ^  Some  of  the  pages  were  the  personal  servants 
of  the  sultan,  and  a  band  of  thirty-nine  constituted  his  gentlemen 
of  the  bedchamber,  or  Khas  Oda}  These  were  the  elite  of  all, 
chosen  by  selection  after  selection;  and,  though  young,  they 
ranked  very  high  in  the  system.  Since  only  a  few  of  all  the 
pages  could  attain  to  this  honor,  the  remainder  were  at  school 
for  outside  service.^ 

Besides  many  less  direct  descriptions  of  the  course  of  training, 
two  exist  which  are  derived  from  men  who  passed  through  the 
palace  school.     Menavino    tells   his   own    story  ;^    and   Ricaut 

*  Postel,  iii.  2. 

2  Menavino,  126. 
'  Ricaut,  chs.  v-vi. 

*  Spandugino,  63.  See  also  Nicolay,  84;  and  the  quotations  in  the  last  section 
of  Chapter  i,  above. 

^  D'Ohsson,  vii.  34. 

'  Hammer  {Gcschichle,  i.  232),  by  a  singular  perversion  of  the  truth,  asserts 
that  the  page  system  had  its  origin  and  primary  purpose  in  the  satisfaction  of 
the  unnatural  lusts  of  Bayezid  I  and  his  successors.  Not  only  does  the  whole 
structure  and  organization  of  the  system  disprove  this,  but  the  absence  of  reference 
to  such  a  purpose  in  all  contemporary  writers  is  sufticicnt  to  settle  the  matter.  The 
vice  which  takes  its  name  from  Sodom  was  very  prevalent  among  the  Ottomans, 
especially  among  those  in  high  position  (Spandugino,  186;  Busbecq,  Life  and 
Letters,  I.  22,2;  Ricaut,  151,211;  D'Ohsson,  iv.  473).  The  pages  were  apt  to  be 
afiQicted  by  it,  and  were  carefully  watched  to  prevent  it,  and  terribly  punished 
if  discovered  (Ricaut,  60).  Occasionally  a  sultan  became  enamored  of  a  page 
(Ricaut,  61);  but  Suleiman  seems  to  have  been  free  from  this  vice  (Busbecq,  i. 
159;  Marini  Sanuto,  Diarii,  December  6,  1523). 

'  Menavino,  126-128.  He  was  a  page  from  about  1505  to  1514  {ibid. 


records  what  he  learned  from  a  PoHsh  captive  who  had  spent 
nineteen  years  in  the  sultan's  service  and  had  reached  high 
position.^  Although  these  accounts  were  written  one  hundred 
and  fifty  years  apart,  they  agree  in  essentials.  Menavino 
does  not  refer  to  the  physical  training  in  arms  and  horsemanship ; 
but  at  the  time  of  his  escape  he  showed  himself,  if  not  a  coura- 
geous, yet  an  accomplished  horseman.  Postel,  some  twenty 
years  after  Menavino's  time,  describes  this  training  in  some 
detail.  He  probably  had  his  information  from  a  French  page 
named  Cabazolles,  whom  he  quotes  as  authority  on  one  point.^ 

The  pages  were  trained  in  the  art  of  war,  the  use  of  all  sorts  of 
arms,  and  good  horsemanship.'^  Suleiman  took  especial  delight 
in  watching  their  cavalry  evolutions,  and  occasionally  sum- 
moned a  page  who  pleased  him,  conversed  with  him,  and  dis- 
missed him  with  presents.^  Also,  by  old  Oriental  custom,  every 
page  was  taught  some  handicraft  useful  in  his  master's  service, 
and,  no  doubt,  intended  to  provide  for  his  own  support  in  case 
of  need.^ 

Menavino  describes  the  course  of  study  in  the  so-called  Yeni 
Oda,  or  New  Chamber,  which  contained  from  eighty  to  a  hundred 
boys.  "  When  a  boy  has  remained  five  or  six  days  in  that  school, 
they  set  him  to  learning  the  alphabet.  There  are  four  teachers 
in  the  school.  One  drills  the  boys  in  reading  during  their  first 
year.  Another  teaches  the  Koran  in  the  Arabic  (Moresco) 
language,  giving  explanations  of  the  different  articles  of  their 
faith.  After  this  a  third  teaches  books  in  the  Persian  tongue, 
and  some  write  a  little,  but  they  do  not  teach  writing  willingly. 
A  fourth  teaches  Arabic  books,  both  vulgar  and  literary."  It  is 
interesting  to  notice  that,  from  the  first,  rewards  in  the  form  of 

^  Ricaut,  "  To  the  Reader,"  45-62.  This  describes  the  system  as  it  was  about 

2  Postel,  iii.  11. 

*  Ibid.  19;  Ricaut,  50. 

*  Postel,  iii.  10;  Ricaut,  50. 

^  Ricaut,  51.  The  same  custom  was  observed  in  the  education  of  the  princes 
and  of  all  children  of  great  officials  (Spandugino,  179).  Tanco,  197-198,  says  he 
has  heard  that  Suleiman  himself  labored  daily  at  a  trade,  so  that  even  the  Prince 
should  earn  his  bread  by  the  sweat  of  his  brow;  see  also  Jorga,  ii.  343. 


pay  were  given  for  labor.  "  These  boys,"  continues  Menavino, 
"  have  a  daily  allowance  of  two  aspers  during  the  first  year,  three 
during  the  second  year,  four  during  the  third  year,  and  thus 
their  allowance  increases  each  year.  They  receive  scarlet  gar- 
ments twice  a  year,  and  some  robes  of  white  cloth  for  the  sum- 
mer." ^  Postel  describes  how  they  learned  with  great  diligence 
Arabic  and  Turkish  letters  and  the  law.^  Ricaut  explains  in 
more  detail  that  the  chief  object  of  the  course  of  study  was  to 
teach  reading  and  writing  for  the  purpose  of  giving  inspection 
into  the  books  of  law  and  religion,  especially  the  Koran.  He 
says  that  Arabic  was  taught  to  enable  the  boys  to  inspect  the 
writings  of  the  judges  and  to  have  knowledge  of  rehgion,  Persian 
to  give  them  quaint  words  and  handsome  and  gentle  deportment, 
and  adds  that  both  tongues  might  be  needed  in  governing 
Eastern  regions.  He  gives  a  list  of  their  text-books,  and  remarks 
that  those  who  wished  to  become  men  of  the  pen  studied  with 
greater  exactness.  They  were  not,  he  says,  taught  logic,  physics, 
metaphysics,  mathematics,  or  geography,  and  their  knowledge 
of  ancient  history  was  much  mixed.  "  Yet  as  to  the  successes 
and  progress  of  Affairs  in  their  own  Dominions,"  he  adds,  "  they 
keep  most  strict  Registers  and  Records,  which  serve  them  as 
Presidents  and  Rules  for  the  present  Government  of  their  Af- 
fairs." ^  This  shows  that  the  pages  were  instructed  in  Turkish 
history  and  the  various  Kanun-namehs ,  or  imperial  laws.  Most 
of  the  teachers  were  Anatolian  Turks,'*  chosen  no  doubt,  as 
imparting  better  pronunciation  and  more  orthodox  religious 

Discipline  was  severe,^  but  was  kept  within  bounds.  A  page 
could  be  beaten  on  the  soles  of  his  feet  with  no  more  than  ten 
strokes,  and  not  more  than  once  on  any  one  day.^  The  boys, 
organized  in  groups  of  ten,  were  watched  carefully  by  eunuchs, 
both  day  and  night.^    Absolute  obedience,  modest  behavior  and 

1  Menavino,  126,  127.  '  Ricaut,  59. 

2  Postel,  iii.  10.  *  Navagero,  43. 

*  Ricaut,  48,  says  that  in  the  three  colleges  of  education  the  eunuchs  exercised 
>'ery  severe  discipline  beyond  that  of  monks. 
^  Menavino,  127. 
"  Ramberti,  below,  pp.  244,  245;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  263;  Ricaut,  49. 


decorum,  and  good  manners  were  taught  with  great  insistency.^ 
The  two  sections,  or  odalar,  at  the  palace  seem  to  have  been  of 
equal  rank,^  while  the  schools  in  Pera  and  Adrianople  ranked 
lower.'  Select  boys  who  had  finished  their  studies  were  promoted 
through  the  different  chambers  of  the  personal  service  of  the 
sultan  to  the  Inner  Chamber,*  where  twelve  or  fifteen  of  the 
thirty-nine  held  titular  ofiices.^  On  reaching  the  age  of  twenty- 
five  every  page  was  sent  out  from  the  school.^  Those  from  the 
Inner  Chamber  passed  at  once  to  places  in  the  Noble  Guard 
(Muteferrika),  or  to  governorships  of  towns.^  Ibrahim  passed 
almost  directly  to  the  place  of  grand  vizier;  ^  but  he  was  the  first 
to  break  the  regular  order  of  promotion,  and  in  after  times  much 
evil  was  held  to  date  from  the  precedent.^  The  majority  passed 
into  the  regular  cavalry,  or  Spahis  of  the  Porte.^^  Those  who 
left  the  school  were  honored  by  a  ceremony  of  farewell.  The 
sultan  personally  commended  each  one,  and  gave  him  encourage- 
ment for  good  conduct  in  his  new  position.  He  presented  each 
with  an  embroidered  coat  and  one  of  his  most  beautiful  horses, 
and  often  a  gift  in  money.  The  young  man,  with  all  the  presents 
he  had  received  during  his  stay,  was  escorted  to  the  great  gate, 
where  he  mounted  his  horse  triumphantly,  and  departed  from 
the  palace  forever.  ^^ 

The  Harem 

Probably  because  of  the  tendency  of  the  human  mind  to 
construct  along  parallel  lines,  the  imperial  harem  partook  of 
the  characteristics  of  the  schools  of  pages.     There  were  two 

1  Ricaut,  49:  "Their  first  Lessons  are  silence,  reverence,  humble  and  modest 
behaviour,  holding  their  heads  downwards,  and  their  hands  across  before  them." 

2  Ibid.  48.  ^  D'Ohsson,  vii.  47. 

*  Ricaut,  51;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  34  ff.  These  chambers  were  the  Kiler-odassi,  or 
Pantry;  the  Khazineh-odassi,  or  Treasure  Chamber;  the  Khas-odassi,  or  Inner 
Chamber.     See  below,  pp.   126-128. 

^  Ricaut,  52.  ^  Postel,  iii.  11.  ^  Spandugino,  62. 

8  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  32.  '  Ibid.  490. 

^°  Ramberti  (below,  p.  244)  says  that  they  became  Spahi-oghlans,  SUihdars,  and 
oflScials  of  higher  degree  according  to  their  worth  and  to  the  favor  which  they  had 
gained  with  the  sultan;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  263. 

11  Menavino,  138. 


odalar,  or  rooms,  for  the  recruits  of  the  harem,  in  which  they  were 
taught  housework,  sewing  and  embroidery,  manners  and  deport- 
ment.^ They  were  organized  in  groups  of  ten,  each  group  under 
a  matron.  Those  with  a  taste  for  music  and  dancing  learned 
those  accompHshments,  those  who  were  studious  learned  to 
read  and  write.  All  were  carefully  instructed  in  the  system  of 
Islam.  Like  the  pages,  nearly  all  of  them  passed  out  of  the 
palace  at  the  age  of  twenty-five,  being  given  in  marriage  to 
Spahis  of  the  Porte  or  to  other  officials.^  Thus  the  harem  might 
be  considered  a  training-school  of  slave-wives  for  the  sultan 
himself  and  for  the  most  highly  honored  of  his  kullar. 

The  Ajem-oghlans 

The  term  ajemi-oghlanlar  signifies  "  foreign  youth,"  and  was 
sometimes  applied  to  all  the  young  recruits.  Ordinarily,  how- 
ever, it  was  given  only  to  the  remainder  left  after  the  pages 
had  been  selected.  These,  for  the  most  part  destined  to  become 
Janissaries,  probably  numbered  about  twenty  thousand.^  Their 
training  was  largely  physical,  industrial,  and  military,  with 
oral  instruction  in  the  Turkish  language  and  the  principles  of  the 
Mohammedan  system.  The  Ajcm-oghlans  usually  passed  through 
two  or  three  stages.  Unless  they  knew  Turkish  and  something 
of  Turkish  ways,  they  were  first  scattered  through  Asia  Minor 
in  the  service  of  Moslem  country  gentlemen.^  There  they  were 
set  at  hard  agricultural  labor,  to  strengthen  their  bodies  to  the 
utmost.  They  were  expected  to  learn  to  speak  and  understand 
the  Turkish  language  and  to  learn  the  faith,  the  laws,  and  the 
customs  of  the  Turks.     The  sultan  allowed  them  no  pay.     The 

*  Ricaut,  71;  Postel,  i.  33;  Nicolay,  64;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  64. 

'  Ramberti,  below,  p.  254  ("  he  marries  them  to  Spahi-oghlans,  or  to  others  of  the 
slaves  of  the  Porte  according  to  the  degree  and  condition  of  both  parties  "  );  Junis 
Bey,  below,  p.  269;  GeulTroy,  244;  Chesneau,  40;  Nicolay,  64. 

'  Trevisano,  130,  speaks  of  16,400;  but  this  number  does  not  seem  sufBcicnt 
to  account  for  all. 

*  Chalcocondyles,  97;  Spandugino,  103;  Ramberti,  255;  Junis  Bey,  270;  (they 
are  sent  "to  dig  earth  in  order  to  learn  Turkish");  Zcno,  127;  GeutTroy,  243; 
Navagero,  50.  Chesneau,  44,  states  that  those  Ajem-oghlans  who  were  levied  in 
Anatolia  were  sent  to  gentlemen  in  Rumelia. 


gentlemen  whom  they  served,  responsible  for  them  to  the  sultan, 
supplied  them  with  food  and  clothing  and  whatever  else  they  were 
pleased  to  give.^  The  number  of  these  Ajem-oghlans  of  the  first 
stage  may  be  estimated  as  ten  thousand.^  At  the  end  of  two  or 
three  years,  or  perhaps  at  about  the  time  for  a  new  devshurmeh,^ 
officers  came  to  examine  them.  If  they  knew  enough  Turkish 
and  were  strong  and  well-grown,  they  passed  to  the  next  stage. 

Having  been  brought  to  Constantinople,  and  once  more 
carefully  inscribed  and  estimated,^  the  Ajem-oghlans  were  again 
distributed,  but  now  in  groups.  About  two  thousand  were 
assigned  to  service  with  the  fleet  at  Gallipoli.^  Another  two 
thousand,  probably  the  most  intelhgent,  were  appointed  as 
gardeners,  or  Bostanjis,  to  the  sultan's  palaces  in  Stamboul, 
Adrianople,  Brusa,  and  Magnesia;^  and  five  hundred  or  more 
served  in  other  capacities  about  the  palaces,  as  wood-cutters, 
helpers  in  the  kitchen,  and  the  like.''  Five  or  six  thousand  were 
kept  in  Constantinople  and  employed  in  the  shipyards  or  on 
pubhc  buildings,^  or  were  hired  out  in  bands  of  one  hundred  or 
more  to  private  citizens  for  hard  labor  of  various  sorts.^  Some 
were  hired  out  similarly  in  other  cities.^"  In  the  midst  of  such  a 
variety  of  occupations,  two  objects  seem  always  to  have  been 
kept  in  mind,  —  the  Ajem-oghlans  were  to  develop  the  utmost 
strength  of  body,  and  they  were  to  learn  some  trade  useful  in 
war.ii     jj-^  |-}-jJ5  stage  they  were  normally  organized  in  groups  or 

^  Ramberti,  below,  p.  255;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  270;  Nicolay,  86. 

2  Giovio,  Commentarius,  78;  Junis  Bey,  as  above. 

3  Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey,  as  above,  say  after  three  or  four  years;  Geuffroy, 
243,  after  four  years.  Navagero,  50,  says  that  every  two  or  three  years,  as  the 
service  demands,  an  officer  takes  those  who  are  ready;  some  have  served  two  or 
three,  some  four  or  five  years.  Trevisano,  130,  says  that  they  are  left  six  or 
seven  years. 

*  Ricaut,  77. 

^  Chalcocondyles,  97;  Spandugino,  104;  Navagero,  52. 

^  Navagero,  52;  Postel,  iii.  22,  25. 

'  Spandugino,  76. 

8  Ramberti,  254,  says  5000;  Junis  Bey,  269,  says  4000  or  5000;  Geuffroy,  242, 
says  5000  or  6000;  Trevisano,  129,  says  6800;  Garzoni,  415,  says  6000;  Postel, 
iii.  25,  says  5000  to  7000;  D.  Barbarigo,  ^^,  says  7600. 

8  Junis  Bey,  269;  Navagero,  51;  Trevisano,  129;   Postel,  iii.  25. 

^°  Trevisano,  129.  "  Giovio,  Commentarius,  77. 


messes  of  ten.  The  gardeners  were  under  the  charge  of  an  ofTicial 
of  high  rank  and  great  authority,  who  bore  the  humble  title  of 
Bostanji-bas/ii,  or  head  gardener;  he  was  aided  by  under  officers 
and  an  administrative  staff.  Those  in  Constantinople  were 
under  the  orders  of  an  Agha,  or  general  officer,  with  a  staff  of 
under  officials,  clerks,  and  accountants.^  Being  filled  with  the 
spirit  of  youth,  conscious  of  their  superior  physical  strength  and 
privileged  position,  gathered  together  in  large  groups,  and 
unrestrained  by  substantial  mental  instruction,  the  Ajem- 
oghlans  were  by  no  means  easy  to  manage.  They  frequently 
raised  great  disturbances  in  the  city,  in  emulation  perhaps  of 
the  Janissaries.-  Those  who  wished  were  allowed  to  learn  to 
read  and  write,  but  they  were  not  obliged  to  do  so.^  They 
received  a  small  amount  of  pay,  with  food  and  clothing.* 

After  a  certain  time  spent  in  this  stage  of  development,  the 
majority  of  the  Ajem-oghlans  were  assigned,  one  by  one  as  each 
seemed  ready,  to  the  service  of  the  odalar,  or  messes,  of  the 
Janissaries.^  The  latter  then  became  responsible  for  their 
training  in  the  art  of  war,  and  discharged  this  duty  with  much 
zeal.  In  the  course  of  time,  as  the  Ajem-oghlans  acquired  suffi- 
cient skill,  and  as  vacancies  occurred,  they  were  enrolled  as 
full-fledged  Janissaries.^  The  gardeners  of  the  sultan's  palaces 
and  the  palace  servants  seem  not  ordinarily  to  have  become 
Janissaries,  but  to  have  been  advanced  toward  the  directing 
of  the  transport,  commissary,  and  artillery  services,  the  oversight 
of  the  imperial  stables,  and  like  positions  in  the  administration 

1  Ramberti,  below,  p.  254;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  269;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  28. 

2  Postel,  Hi.  25. 

*  Postel,  iii.  22,  says  that  only  those  who  had  special  privilege  from  the  sultan 
were  allowed  to  learn  letters.  Ricaut,  76,  sajs  that  some  of  those  in  the  palace 
service  were  taught  to  read  and  write.  In  D'Ohsson's  time  (vii.  327),  each  oda 
had  a  hoja  to  teach  reading  and  writing  to  those  who  wished. 

*  Junis  Bey,  26g,  270,  says  that  they  had  2  or  3  aspers  per  day  at  first,  and 
more  as  they  advanced,  and  that  their  chief  was  allowed  100,000  aspers  a  year  for 
their  food  and  clothing.  Postel,  iii.  23,  says  that  their  chief  was  allowed  10,000 
aspers  a  day  to  keep  them  and  pay  them,  and  other  money  for  their  clothing. 

*  Ramberti,  254;  Junis  Bey,  270;   Postel,  iii.  25. 

*  Spandugino,  104.  Trevisano,  130,  says  that  they  became  such  at  from  20  to 
25  years  old,  according  to  their  mind,  value,  or  favor. 


of  the  army  and  the  great  household. ^  No  doubt  some  of  those 
assigned  to  the  fleet  were  promoted  in  the  navy,  but  most  of 
them  seem  to  have  become  Janissaries.^  Thus  a  large  number 
and  variety  of  openings  lay  before  the  Ajem-oghlatis,  who  as 
they  became  ready  were  advanced  into  them.  The  ordinary  age 
of  graduation  from  the  corps  was  twenty-five  years,^  which  may 
be  regarded  as  the  age  of  majority  for  all  the  sultan's  slaves. 
At  times  war  caused  such  depletion  of  the  upper  service  that 
Ajem-oghlans  were  promoted  before  they  had  reached  the  desired 
age  or  were  thoroughly  ready.^ 

Advancement  Based  on  Merit 

The  entire  system  from  start  to  finish  was  designed  to  reward 
merit  and  fully  to  satisfy  every  ambition  that  was  backed  by 
ability,  effort,  and  sufficient  preparation.  Two  parallel  lines 
of  reward  were  established,  the  honorable  and  the  financial. 
In  the  page  school  the  first  was  represented  by  promotion  from 
class  to  class,  and,  in  the  case  of  those  who  were  observed  to  be 
the  most  suitable,  by  advancement  through  the  chambers  of 
personal  service  to  the  Khas  Oda.  In  this  oda  they  were  pro- 
moted in  regular  order  through  the  twelve  or  more  special 

Among  the  Ajem-oghlans  the  process  seems  to  have  been  carried 
on  by  carefully  observing  and  testing  individuals,  by  advancing 
them  from  stage  to  stage  on  this  basis,  and  by  entrusting  them 
in  the  later  stages  with  greater  and  greater  responsibilities. 
The  financial  reward  began  for  the  pages  immediately  upon 
admission  to  the  school.  It  was  then  probably  about  equal  to 
the  daily  wages  of  an  unskilled  laborer.  This  was  increased 
regularly  year  by  year,  and  in  the  Khas  Oda  reached  the  propor- 

^  Ricaut,  76.  But  those  of  the  principal  palace  in  Constantinople  had  greater 
opportunities;  they  might  become  Janissaries,  Solaks,  Kapujis,  etc.  (Ramberti, 
below,  p.  245.) 

2  Chalcocondyles,  97. 

'  Trevisano,  130;  Barbaro,  316;  Garzoni,  397. 

*  Zinkeisen,  iii.  228. 

^  Ricaut,  53;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  34-39- 


tions  of  a  handsome  salary. ^  The  Ajem-oghlans  depended  during 
the  first  stage  on  the  rewards  assigned  by  their  temporary 
masters.  After  that  stage  they  began  to  receive  a  small  amount 
of  pay  from  the  sultan,  which  was  gradually  increased.^  All 
were  provided  with  food,  lodging,  and  at  least  a  part  of  their 
clothing,  and  individuals  might  hope  to  obtain  special  gifts. 

This  double  system  was  continued  without  a  break  through 
the  entire  institution.  The  lowest  Janissary  might  hopefully 
aspire  to  promotion,  either  through  the  hierarchy  of  office  in  his 
own  corps,  or  by  being  lifted  out  of  it  for  service  in  the  cavalry 
or  the  active  administration.^  The  pages  who  had  passed  out 
of  the  school  were  already  well  up  in  the  scale  of  advancement, 
and  every  place  except  the  sultan's  own  was  within  their  grasp. 
The  grand  vizier,  indeed,  might  wield  almost  the  whole  of  the 
sultan's  power,  a  fact  which  Ibrahim,  shortly  before  his  fall, 
realized  so  fully  that  he  added  to  his  title  of  Seraskier  the  word 
Sultan.^  The  losses  occasioned  by  fierce  and  frequent  wars, 
and  by  not  infrequent  depositions  and  executions,  gave  abundant 
opportunity  for  men  to  rise  from  below.  Conquest  was  con- 
tinually adding  new  offices  and  commands.  The  whole  Ruling 
Institution  was,  so  to  speak,  in  a  constant  state  of  boiling,  in 
which  the  human  particles  were  rapidly  rising  to  the  top,  and, 
alas,  disappearing,  while  others  rose  as  rapidly  behind  them. 

The  figure  just  employed  is  applicable,  however,  only  to  the 
mere  phenomenon  of  rising:  the  upward  movement  was  not  in 
the  least  accidental  or  automatic;  it  was  conducted  with  keen 
intelhgence  at  every  stage.  Now  and  then,  as  in  the  case  of 
Ibrahim,  favor  disturbed  the  scheme;  but  this  happened  very 
seldom  before  the  end  of  Suleiman's  reign.  Sometimes  a  tem- 
porary confusion  resulted  from  extraordinary  losses  in  war, 
but  order  was  soon  restored.  There  is  reason  to  believe  that 
human  history  has  never  known  a  political  institution  which 
during  so  long  a  period  was  so  completely  dominated  by  sheer 

*  Ramberti,  below,  p.  244;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  263;  Ricaut,  53. 
2  Junis  Bey,  as  quoted  above,  p.  8i,  note  4. 

'  Chalcocondylcs,  171;  Barbaro,  305;  Nicolay,  89  ("the  wages  of  each  are 
increased,  according  to  the  merit  of  their  military  valor  "). 

*  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  i6o. 


intellect,  and  thereby  so  unerringly  held  to  its  original  plan  and 
purpose,  as  was  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution.  The  democ- 
racy of  Athens  attained  an  unexampled  level  of  average  intelli- 
gence, but  under  its  sway  the  exceptional  mind  received  discour- 
agement rather  than  exceptional  training.  The  free  democracies 
of  the  present  age  allow  the  gifted  individual  opportunities  to 
fight  his  way  upward,  but  against  obstacles  which  sometimes 
become  insuperable.  These  systems  are  unquestionably  superior 
on  the  whole  to  the  Ottoman  scheme,  because  of  their  inclusive- 
ness  and  individual  freedom;  but  as  regards  sheer  efficiency, 
unobstructed  opportunity,  and  certainty  of  reward,  their  opera- 
tion is  wasteful,  clumsy,  and  blind  by  comparison. 

Some  testimonies  of  shrewd  contemporary  observers  will 
show  how  they  regarded  the  Ottoman  scheme  of  promotion 
both  in  itself  and  in  comparison  with  Western  ways.  The 
intelHgent  author  of  the  Tractatus  is  impressed  by  the  unity 
and  control  of  the  scheme.  "  Out  of  the  aforesaid  slaves," 
he  writes,  "  promotions  are  made  to  the  ofiices  of  the  kingdom 
according  to  the  virtues  found  in  them.  Whence  it  comes  about 
that  all  the  magnates  and  princes  of  the  whole  kingdom  are  as  it 
were  officials  made  by  the  king,  and  not  lords  or  possessors; 
and  as  a  consequence  he  is  the  sole  lord  and  possessor,  and  the 
lawful  dispenser,  distributer,  and  governor  of  the  whole  kingdom; 
the  others  are  only  executors,  officials,  and  administrators 
according  to  his  will  and  command.  .  .  .  Whence  it  follows 
that  in  his  kingdom,  although  there  is  an  innumerable  multitude, 
no  contradiction  or  opposition  can  arise;  but,  united  as  one 
man  in  all  respects  and  for  all  purposes,  they  look  to  his  command 
alone,  they  obey  and  serve  unwear3dngly."  ^ 

Postel  says:  "  The  Seigneur  [or  sultan]  has  four  or  several 
principal  personages  for  all  the  business  of  his  empire,  whether 
in  war  or  justice,  and  they  are  promoted  to  this  honor  by  degrees 
from  lower  offices,  always  mounting  and  giving  good  examples  of 
living,  unless  by  some  extraordinary  favor  the  prince  raises 
them  from  some  low  place,  which  is  very  perilous."  ^  Speaking 
of  the  pages  in  the  palace,  he  adds:    "  When  they  have  Hved 

1  Tractatus,  ch.  viii.  ^  Postel,  i.  121. 


there  a  long  time  and  done  well,  they  are  given  a  place  where  they 
receive  pay,  and  they  are  made  Castellans  and  given  other  offices 
used  among  them.  If  there  are  some  who  have  the  ability  to 
make  themselves  known,  they  may  have  the  best  fortune  in  the 
world,  and  become  governors  of  the  land  and  Pashas;  for  there 
they  judge  of  nobiHty  by  the  worth  which  they  see  appearing 
in  a  man,  and  they  give  honors  according  to  the  evidence  of 
his  past."  ^  Of  Suleiman,  Tanco  says,  "  He  sows  hope  of  certain 
reward  in  all  conditions  of  men,  who  by  means  of  virtue,  may 
succeed  in  mounting  to  better  fortune  ";  and  of  the  Janissaries, 
"  Each  has  his  good  and  real  fortune  in  his  hand."  ^ 

Among  all  observers,  Busbecq  seems  to  have  been  most 
impressed  with  the  system  of  advancement  by  merit.  "  The 
Turks,"  he  tells  us,  "  do  not  measure  even  their  own  people  by 
any  other  rule  than  that  of  personal  merit.  The  only  exception 
is  the  house  of  Ottoman;  in  this  case,  and  in  this  case  only,  does 
birth  confer  distinction."  ^ 

Referring  to  his  audience  with  Suleiman,  he  says:  "  There  was 
not  in  all  that  great  assembly  a  single  man  who  owed  his  position 
to  aught  save  his  valour  and  his  merit.  No  distinction  is  attached 
to  birth  among  the  Turks;  the  deference  to  be  paid  to  a  man  is 
measured  by  the  position  he  holds  in  the  pubhc  service.  There 
is  no  fighting  for  precedence;  a  man's  place  is  marked  out  by  the 
duties  he  discharges.  In  making  his  appointments  the  sultan 
pays  no  regard  to  any  pretensions  on  the  score  of  wealth  or  rank, 
nor  does  he  take  into  consideration  recommendations  or  popu- 
larity; he  considers  each  case  on  its  own  merits,  and  examines 
carefully  into  the  character,  ability,  and  disposition  of  the  man 
whose  promotion  is  in  question.  It  is  by  merit  that  men  rise 
in  the  service,  a  system  which  ensures  that  posts  should  only 
be  assigned  to  the  competent.  Each  man  in  Turkey  carries  in 
his  own  hand  his  ancestry  and  his  position  in  life,  which  he  may 
make  or  mar  as  he  will.  Those  who  receive  the  highest  offices 
from  the  sultan  are  for  the  most  part  the  sons  of  shepherds  or 
herdsmen,  and  so  far  from  being  ashamed  of  their  parentage, 

1  Ibid.  iii.  19.  '  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  105. 

2  Tanco,  197,  206. 


they  actually  glory  in  it,  and  consider  it  a  matter  of  boasting 
that  they  owe  nothing  to  the  accident  of  birth;  for  they  do  not 
beheve  that  high  qualities  are  either  natural  or  hereditary,  nor 
do  they  think  that  they  can  be  handed  down  from  father  to  son, 
but  that  they  are  partly  the  gift  of  God,  and  partly  the  result  of 
good  training,  great  industry,  and  unwearied  zeal;  arguing 
that  high  qualities  do  not  descend  from  a  father  to  his  son  or 
heir,  any  more  than  a  talent  for  music,  mathematics,  or  the  like; 
and  that  the  mind  does  not  derive  its  origin  from  the  father,  so 
that  the  son  should  necessarily  be  like  the  father  in  character, 
but  emanates  from  heaven,  and  is  thence  infused  into  the  human 
body.  Among  the  Turks,  therefore,  honours,  high  posts,  and 
judgeships  are  the  rewards  of  great  ability  and  good  service. 
If  a  man  be  dishonest,  or  lazy,  or  careless,  he  remains  at  the  bot- 
tom of  the  ladder,  an  object  of  contempt;  for  such  quahties  there 
are  no  honours  in  Turkey! 

"  This  is  the  reason  that  they  are  successful  in  their  under- 
takings, that  they  lord  it  over  others,  and  are  daily  extending 
the  bounds  of  their  empire.  These  are  not  our  ideas;  with  us 
there  is  no  opening  left  for  merit;  birth  is  the  standard  for  every- 
thing; the  prestige  of  birth  is  the  sole  key  to  advancement  in  the 
public  service."  ^ 

Finally,  Ricaut,  after  describing  the  Ajem-oghlans,  declares 
that  this  part  of  the  system  "  is  one  of  the  most  Politick  Con- 
stitutions in  the  World,  and  none  of  the  meanest  supports  of  the 
Ottoman  Empire."  ^ 

Financial  rewards  paralleled  advancement  in  office  with  great 
exactness.  When  a  man  came  to  high  position,  he  was  provided 
with  the  means  to  Hve  splendidly  in  proportion  to  his  rank. 
In  addition  to  his  salary,  many  opportunities  of  increasing  his 
income  presented  themselves;  and  though  some  of  these  would 
be  considered  undignified  in  Western  eyes,^  and  others  were 
undoubtedly  stained  with  rapacity  and  extortion,*  they  were 

*  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  154-155. 

2  Ricaut,  77. 

3  Spandugino,  185;  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  108. 

*  Spandugino,  132. 


allowed  to  be  enjoyed  under  all  ordinary  circumstances.  The 
sultan's  higher  officials  not  only  lived  in  great  splendor,  with  a 
numerous  retinue,  a  large  harem,  and  many  costly  garments, 
dishes,  gems,  and  the  like,  but  they  often  accumulated  great 
wealth  in  money,  houses,  lands,  mills,  horses,  cattle,  sheep,  and 
everything  else  that  is  considered  worth  collecting.'  Thus,  as 
men  were  promoted,  they  were  enabled  regularly  to  proportion 
display  of  wealth  to  rank  and  office. 

The  example  of  one  of  Suleiman's  chief  servants  will  illustrate 
the  cursiis  honorum  in  the  Ottoman  system.  Ali  Pasha  was  a 
native  of  Dalmatia.  Levied  with  the  tribute  boys,  he  was  ad- 
mitted to  the  principal  palace  at  the  time  when  Ibrahim  was 
Oda-hashi,  or  head  of  the  Inner  Chamber  of  pages.  In  the  course 
of  time  he  was  made  Kapuji,  or  gatekeeper.  When  Ibrahim 
became  grand  vizier,  Ali  became  Chasnejir,  or  chief  taster,  to 
Suleiman,  and  held  that  office  during  the  expedition  to  Vienna 
in  1529.  In  due  course  he  was  discharged  from  the  palace,  and 
appointed  to  high  office  outside.  He  soon  reached  the  grade  of 
Aglia,  or  general  or  the  Ghurebas,  the  lowest  of  the  four  divisions 
of  the  regular  cavalry,  and  was  then  promoted  to  be  AgJia  of  the 
SpaJii-oghlans,  the  highest  of  the  cavalry  divisions.  Next  he 
became  second  equerry  and  later  first  equerry  {Emir-al-Akhor) , 
then  Agha  of  the  Janissaries,  then  Beylerbey  of  Rumelia.  In  the 
last  capacity  he  attended  the  sultan  in  the  Persian  war  of  1548- 
1549.  As  a  reward  for  special  services  in  the  war  he  was  made 
pasha  of  Egypt  in  1549,  and  at  the  time  of  his  departure  was 

^  The  grand  vizier  Rustem's  wealth  is  summed  up  in  detail  in  Hammer's 
Geschichle,  iii.  386:  "  He  himself  left  at  his  death  an  immense  fortune;  no 
grand  vizier  before  him  had  amassed  so  much  wealth.  His  estate  consisted  of 
815  farms  in  Rumelia  and  Anatolia,  476  water  mills,  1700  slaves,  2900  war  horses, 
1 106  camels,  5000  richly  embroidered  coats  and  robes  of  honor,  8000  turbans,  iioo 
caps  of  cloth  of  gold,  2900  coats  of  mail,  2000  cuirasses,  600  saddles  finished  in 
silver,  500  others  adorned  with  gold  and  precious  stones,  1500  helmets  plated  with 
silver,  130  pairs  of  golden  stirrups,  760  sabres  adorned  with  precious  stones,  1000 
lances  trimmed  with  silver,  800  Korans,  130  of  which  were  set  with  diamonds,  5000 
volumes  of  various  works,  78,000  ducats,  32  precious  stones  representing  a  value  of 
112  donkey-loads  (that  is  to  say,  11,200,000  aspers);  the  ready  money  which  was 
found  in  his  house  was  estimated  at  1000  loads  (100,000,000  aspers,  or  2,000,000 


nominated  vizier.  Returning  to  Constantinople  in  1553,  he 
was  made  third  vizier,  and  upon  the  death  of  Rustem  in  1561,  he 
became  grand  vizier.  Because  of  jealousies  and  enmities  caused 
by  his  promotions  he  had  hardly  a  friend  left;  nevertheless,  he 
was  able  to  hold  the  favor  of  Suleiman  until  his  death  in  1565.^ 


The  system  did  not  attempt  to  rely  wholly  upon  the  glittering 
attractions  of  indefinite  promotion  and  enormously  increasing 
wealth.  Not  all  men  can  be  allured  to  remain  unswer\dngly 
within  a  narrow  path  of  strict  obedience  and  whole-hearted 
service.  Pages  and  Ajem-oghlans  were  held  to  severe  discipline 
by  sufficient  and  certain  punishment;  but  their  teachers  and 
eunuch  masters  were  required  to  keep  that  punishment  within 
bounds  by  the  certainty  of  yet  severer  punishment.^  Ajem- 
oghlans  might  be  beaten,  or  sold  out  of  the  sultan's  service. 
After  the  close  of  the  strictly  educational  period,  punishment, 
like  reward,  followed  continuously  the  law  of  proportionate 
increase.  The  higher  the  position,  the  heavier  the  punishment 
of  being  passed  over  in  promotion,  or  of  being  actually  degraded. 
Fines  and  confiscations  also  grew  with  rank.  At  no  great  height 
in  the  scale,  the  personal  punishments  reached  that  of  death, 
and  death  was  always  very  near  the  highest  officials.  Any 
tendency  toward  treason  or  revolt,  any  act  of  disobedience, 
sometimes  a  plot  against  a  higher  official,  sometimes  even  a 
disagreement  with  the  sultan  in  a  matter  of  policy,^  would  lead 
to  sudden  execution.  The  viziers  of  Selim  I  carried  their  wills 
in  their  bosoms;  and  well  they  might,  since  the  heads  of  seven 
are  said  to  have  fallen  at  his  command.^ 

Thus  was  the  system  carefully  kept  clear  of  all  the  human 
material  that  seemed  to  endanger  its  working  or  threaten  its 
unity.  There  was  no  sympathy  for  weakness,  no  accepting  of 
excuses,  no  suspension  of  sentence,  no  mercy.     Suleiman  did 

1  D.  Barbarigo,  30-33.  ^  Menavino,  128. 

^  The  cause  of  the  execution  of  Junis  Pasha  by  Selim  I.  Cf .  Hammer,  Geschichte, 
ii.  524. 

^  Halil  Ganem,  i.  169. 


not  always  have  the  heart  to  execute  promptly;  but  in  the  end 
he  had  no  alternative,  so  remorseless  was  the  system.  Even 
his  best  friend,  Ibrahim,  went  too  far  and  had  to  be  removed. 
Two  of  his  sons,  the  oldest  and  ablest,  threatened  the  system 
in  turn,  and  one  after  the  other  suffered  the  bow-string.  Small 
wonder  that  Suleiman's  soul  was  not  filled  with  joy  at  the  victory 
of  Jerbe.  "  Those  who  saw  Solyman's  face  in  this  hour  of 
triumph,"  says  Busbecq,  "  failed  to  detect  in  it  the  slightest 
trace  of  undue  elation.  I  can  myself  positively  declare,  that  when 
I  saw  him  two  days  later  on  his  way  to  the  mosque,  the  expres- 
sion of  his  countenance  was  unchanged;  his  stern  features  had 
lost  nothing  of  their  habitual  gloom;  one  would  have  thought 
that  the  victory  concerned  him  not,  and  that  this  startling 
success  of  his  arms  had  caused  him  no  surprise.  So  self-contained 
was  the  heart  of  that  grand  old  man,  so  schooled  to  meet  each 
change  of  fortune  however  great,  that  all  the  applause  and 
triumph  of  that  day  wrung  from  him  no  sign  of  satisfaction."  ^ 
Arbiter  of  the  destinies  of  so  many  men,  compelled  to  be  remorse- 
less as  fate,  Suleiman  could  allow  joy  no  place  in  his  soul.  He 
who  wielded  as  severe  a  rod  as  ever  man  held  must  maintain 
over  himself  the  sternest  discipline  of  all. 

^  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  322. 


The  Military  Aspect 

The  Ottoman  government  had  been  an  army  before  it  was 
anything  else.  Like  the  Turkish  nations  of  the  steppe  lands, 
the  Ottoman  nation  was  "  born  of  war  and  organized  for  con- 
quest." ^  Fighting  was  originally  the  first  business  of  the  state 
and  governing  the  second.  As  time  went  on,  and  particularly 
after  the  capture  of  Constantinople,  the  necessity  of  administer- 
ing immense  territories  transferred  the  preponderance  to  the 
governmental  aspect;  but  even  in  Suleiman's  time  the  two  great 
functions  of  the  Ruling  Institution  were  very  closely  united. 
War  carried  practically  the  whole  government  into  the  field. - 
Of  course  substitute  officials  had  to  be  left  behind  to  attend  to 
what  public  business  was  absolutely  necessary,  but  these  were 
paralleled  by,  and  indeed  were  usually  identical  with,  the  ofiicers 
and  soldiers  who  had  to  be  left  behind  to  preserve  pubhc  order. 
So  completely  was  the  government  an  army,  that  the  more 
important  judges,  who  did  not  belong  directly  to  the  Ruhng 
Institution,  were  taken  into  the  field.  Suleiman  on  his  last 
campaign  had  48,316  men  under  pay.^  Acceptance  of  the  sultan's 
pay  by  ordinary  usage  signified  that  the  recipient  was  a  kul} 
Evidently,    then,   almost   the   entire  personnel   of   the   Ruling 

^  Cahun,  Introduction,  li.wn:  "  Les  Turcs  et  les  Mongols  .  .  .  nees  de  la  guerre 
et  organisees  pour  la  conquete." 

2  This  was  true  even  in  D'Ohsson's  time  (vii.  399). 

3  Jiammer,  Staatsverwaltung,  181. 

*  Curiously  enough,  the  oldest  sense  in  which  the  Turkish  word  kid  was  used  as  a 
term  denoting  relation  to  a  prince,  was  in  reference  to  soldiers  (Vambery,  Uigiirische 
Sprachmonumente  und  das  Kudatku  Bilik,  113,  stanza  12b).  At  that  time  the 
word  was  applied  to  the  foot-soldiers  as  distinguished  from  the  cavalry,  who  were 
then  volunteer  knights.  This  usage  survived  in  the  Ottoman  system  to  the  extent 
that  the  regular  infantry,  including  the  Janissaries,  artillerymen,  and  other  lesser 
permanent  corps,  were  regarded  as  in  a  particular  and  special  sense  the  sultan's 
kullar  (D'Ohsson,  vii.  328;  Djevad  Bey,  i.  15-18). 


THE  ARMY  9 1 

Institution,  except  the  younger  pages  and  the  Ajem-oghlans 
who  were  as  yet  unfit,  accompanied  the  master  to  war.^  In  fact, 
army  and  government  were  one.  War  was  the  external  purpose, 
government  the  internal  purpose,  of  one  institution,  composed 
of  one  body  of  men.  On  the  military  side,  this  institution 
carried  on  war  abroad,  repressed  revolt  at  home,  kept  itself  in 
power,  and  preserved  sufficient  order  in  the  empire  to  allow  a 
busy  and  varied  economic  and  social  activity.  On  the  govern- 
mental side,  it  supplied  itself  with  funds,  regulated  its  own  work- 
ings, —  which  was  no  small  task,  —  kept  the  operations  of  the 
other  institutions  of  the  empire  in  order,  and  enforced  the  law. 
The  high  officials  of  government  held  high  command  in  war. 
The  generals  of  the  army  had  extensive  administrative  duties  in 
regard  to  the  affairs  of  the  troops  under  them,  the  management 
of  departments  of  state,  or  the  government  of  provinces. 

The  scope  of  the  present  treatise  confines  the  discussion  of 
the  RuKng  Institution  as  an  army  to  those  features  which  lie 
nearest  the  governmental  aspect.  The  great  majority  of  its 
members  constituted  the  standing  army  of  the  empire,  in  the 
two  great  sections  of  Janissaries,  or  infantry,  and  Spahis  of  the 
Porte,  or  cavalry.  Subordinate  sections  cared  for  the  artillery 
and  transport  services,  and  for  other  necessary  adjuncts  to  cam- 
paigning. Although  the  feudal  SpaJiis  did  not  receive  pay  from 
the  sultan,  and  hence  were  not  properly  kullar,  their  officers 
were  his  slaves,  even  though  many  of  them  were  supported 
during  their  term  of  service  from  fiefs.  Besides  these  regular 
troops  there  were  also  attached  to  the  Ottoman  army  certain 
irregular  bodies  of  a  lower  order,  —  the  Akinji,  the  Azabs,  the 
Kurds,  and  so  on. 

The  Janissaries  2 

The  body  of  regular  infantry  known  as  YenicJieri,  or  "  new 
troops,"  a  name  which  the  West  has  changed  to  Janissaries, 

1  The  Bostaujis,  or  gardeners,  and  other  Ajem-oghlans  of  the  palace  service  were 
not  left  behind:  D'Ohsson,  vii.  326;  Djevad  Bey,  i.  7. 

*  Extended  accounts  of  the  Janissaries  may  be  found  in  D'Ohsson,  vW.  310  fif.; 
Hammer,  Slaatsverwaltung,  192  ff.;  Zinkeisen,  iii.  201  fif.;  Djevad  Bey,  vol.  i, 
book  i. 


comes  near  to  standing  in  the  Western  imagination  for  the 
sultan's  entire  slave-family. ^  In  the  sixteenth  century,  however, 
it  formed  not  more  than  a  fourth  of  the  whole  number;  nor  does 
its  importance  seem  to  have  been  beyond  its  numerical  propor- 
tion, except  in  one  or  two  respects.  Since  its  members  were 
physically  trained  beyond  comparison  with  their  intellectual 
education,  since  they  were  kept  in  poverty  and  hence  were  com- 
paratively irresponsible,  and  since  a  large  portion  of  them  were 
in  comparative  idleness  in  time  of  peace,  they  were  liable  to 
act  as  an  organized  and  very  dangerous  mob.  They  might 
start  a  riot  on  short  notice,  or  burn  a  section  of  the  city  in  order 
to  pillage  the  neighboring  houses,  or  rifle  the  shops  of  the  Jews, 
or  plunder  the  grand  vizier's  establishment.^  They  could  not 
easily  be  restrained  from  plundering  cities  which  had  capitulated 
or  from  violating  terms  of  surrender.^  They  felt  that  the 
death  of  a  sultan  gave  them  an  interregnum  of  Hcense  before  the 
accession  of  a  new  sovereign.^  They  demanded  donatives  at 
the  succession  of  a  new  ruler  with  such  increasing  rapacity  as 
to  embarrass  the  treasury;^  and  they  needed  to  be  braced  at 

^  For  an  example  of  the  persistence  of  this  idea,  see  Berard  (1909),  12-13: 
"  La  Turquie  desormais  subsiste  par  le  janissaire  et  doit  vivre  pour  le  janissaire 
d'abord.  .  .  .  depuis  la  prise  de  Rhodes  (1522)  jusqu'a  I'apparition  de  la  flotte 
russe  aux  Dardanelles  (1770),  tant  vaut  le  janissaire  et  tant  vaut  I'empire."  Pro- 
fessor A.  C.  Coolidge  suggests  that  the  hold  which  this  remarkable  organization 
had  upon  the  imagination  of  fellow-countrymen  as  well  as  of  foreigners  was  in  part 
"  due  to  the  fact  that  in  almost  all  Oriental  history  good  infantr>'men  have  been 
extremely  rare,  and  the  Janissaries  were  the  only  good  infantr>'men  in  the  Ottoman 
Empire."  It  is  also  true  that  the  Janissaries  were  that  group  within  the  Moslem 
fold  which  came  least  under  the  taming  and  subordinating  influence  of  the  system; 
they  were  a  frontier  province  of  Islamic  society.  "When  in  the  seventeenth  century 
they  ceased  to  be  drawn  directly  from  the  Christian  population  and  became  a 
variety  of  military  aristocracy,  not  only  did  they  remain  in  part  a  fighting  infantry, 
but  their  original  freedom  of  spirit  and  action  was  by  no  means  abandoned. 

2  D'Ohsson,  vii.  359-360;  Hammer,  Ceschichte,  ii.  251,  361,  iii.  45;  Nicolay,  89. 

'  Rhodes  was  pillaged  after  capitulation  (1521),  and  so  were  Ofen  (1529),  and 
Wychegrad  (1544) :  Hammer,  Ceschichte,  iii.  28,  83,  263. 

*  Ibid.  ii.  252.  Hence  the  death  of  a  sultan  was  kept  concealed  until  his 
successor  had  assumed  power  {ibid.  535;  iii.  449). 

^  Mohammed  II  gave  them  ten  purses  of  gold  (1451),  ibid.  i.  504;  Bayezid  II 
gave  them  2000  aspers  each  (1481),  ibid.  ii.  252;  Selim  I  gave  them  3000  aspers 
each  (15 1 2),  ibid.  382;  from  Suleiman  they  asked  5000  aspers  each,  which  he 
compounded  by  giving  them  one-third  in  cash  and  increased  pay  (1520),  ibid.  iii.  6. 

THE  ARMY  93 

critical  moments  by  liberal  presents.'  In  time  of  battle,  however, 
they  drew  up  an  invincible  line  behind  which  the  person  of  their 
sovereign  was  as  safe  as  in  an  impregnable  fortress.  Their 
devotion  to  his  person  was  the  greater  because  they  were  in  a 
special  sense  his  kullar,  and  because  he  was  one  of  them,  being 
inscribed  in  one  of  their  odas  and  receiving  his  pay  regularly .^ 
In  small  groups  on  garrison  duty  their  severe  training  seems  to 
have  made  of  them  an  efficient  police.^  Yet  their  esprit  de  corps, 
resting  on  consciousness  of  power,  made  them  feared  at  all  times. 
They  took  an  active  part  in  determining  the  destinies  of  the 
empire  in  two  ways,  —  by  limiting  conquests,  and  by  influencing 
the  succession  to  the  throne.*  They  compelled  the  mighty 
Selim  to  turn  back  from  both  Persia  and  Egypt. ^  They  mur- 
mured before  Vienna,  and  without  doubt  hastened  the  raising 
of  the  siege.^ 

The  Succession  to  the  Throne 

The  Janissaries  had  no  small  influence  in  determining  the 
succession  to  the  throne.^  There  was  no  law  fixing  the  succes- 
sion, since  neither  the  Sheri  nor  the  Kanuns  provided  for  such 
things;  ^  but  it  was  a  matter  of  fundamental  custom  that  a  prince 

^  Before  Vienna  (1529),  ibid.  88;  on  march  toward  Persia  (1534),  ibid.  148;  at 
Tabriz  {iszs),ibid.  158. 

^  This  usage  dates  from  Suleiman;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  354. 

'  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  86:  the  Janissaries  "  are  scattered  through  every 
part  of  the  empire,  either  to  garrison  the  forts  against  the  enemy,  or  to  protect 
the  Christians  and  Jews  from  the  violence  of  the  mob.  There  is  no  district  with  any 
considerable  amount  of  population,  no  borough  or  cit}',  which  has  not  a  detachment 
of  Janissaries  to  protect  the  Christians,  Jews,  and  other  helpless  people  from 
outrage  and  wrong."  Janissaries  might  be  detailed  to  attend  on  foreign  ambassa- 
dors, or  to  escort  foreign  travelers  within  the  empire  (Knolles,  ed.  1687,  p.  9S5). 

*  Nicolay,  89,  was  perhaps  the  first  to  point  out  the  likeness  of  the  Janissaries 
to  the  Roman  Pretorian  Guard,  and  to  see  in  them  a  great  danger  to  the  Ottoman 

^  Hammer,  GeschiclUc,  ii.  420,  520. 

8  7^)/^.  iii.  88. 

'  Trevisano,  129,  says  that  they  had  sufficient  authority  on  the  death  of  a 
sultan  to  give  the  empire  to  which  of  his  sons  they  pleased.  Cf.  J.  Soranzo,  248; 
Morosini,  255;  Garzoni,  432;  Knolles  (ed.  1687),  9S5  ("  neither  can  any  of 
the  Turks  Sultans  account  themselves  fully  invested  in  the  Imperial  Dignity, 
or  assured  of  their  Estate,  until  they  be  by  them  approved  and  proclaimed  "). 

*  D'Ohsson,  i.  278-284;  Heidborn,  120. 


of  the  house  of  Osman  should  rule,  and  it  was  almost  as  funda- 
mental that  a  son  of  a  sultan  should  succeed  him.  Not  until 
1617  was  the  present  rule  established,  by  which  the  oldest  male 
of  the  royal  house  is  heir  apparent.^  Before  that,  when  a  sultan 
had  several  sons,  the  eldest  had  no  inherent  right  to  succeed, 
as  is  the  practice  in  Western  Europe.  The  Turkish  father 
naturally  desired  to  choose  which  of  his  sons  should  follow  him; 
and  to  this  end,  when  he  gave  them  provincial  governments,  he 
often  placed  the  favorite  nearest  the  capital.  After  Mohammed 
II  had  issued  his  famous  Kanun,  by  which  the  son  who  reached 
the  throne  was  legally  authorized  to  execute  his  brothers,-  a 
situation  of  unstable  equilibrium  arose  as  soon  as  the  sons  of  a 
sultan  began  to  grow  up.  Each  knew  that  he  must  either 
obtain  the  throne  or  die  soon  after  his  father;  hence  revolt  was 
almost  forced  upon  a  son  who  found  himself  placed  farther  from 
the  capital  than  a  favored  brother.  When  Bayezid  II  grew  old 
and  feeble,  his  active  and  warlike  son  Selim  opposed  his  wish 
to  leave  the  empire  to  Achmet;  ^  in  the  end  SeHm  triumphed, 
and  Bayezid,  forced  to  abdicate,  met  a  death  that  was  believed 
by  many  not  to  have  been  natural.*  The  Janissaries  turned 
the  scale  in  this  struggle,  and  henceforth  they  were  felt  to  be  a 
dangerous  element  whenever  a  sultan  came  to  have  more  than 
one  growTi  son.  They  had  a  great  part  in  the  death  of  both 
Mustapha  and  Bayezid,  the  ablest  sons  of  Suleiman;  indeed, 
their  sympathy  for  the  former  was  undoubtedly  a  chief  reason 
in  determining  Suleiman  to  execute  him,  since  only  thus  could 
his  own  safety  be  assured.^  In  the  case  of  Bayezid,  the  fact 
that  the  Janissaries  did  not  support  him  spelled  his  doom,  even 
though  his  father,  beyond  all  precedent,  pardoned  his  first  revolt, 

^  D'Ohsson,  i.  284.  This  rule  is  sometimes  stated  erroneously  as  an  old  Turkish 
custom,  a  provision  of  Mohammedan  law,  or  an  old  Ottoman  law  or  custom. 

2  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  98:  "  Kanun  of  the  Security  of  the  Throne:  The 
majority  of  Legists  (Ulema)  have  declared  it  allowable,  that  whoever  among 
my  illustrious  children  and  grandchildren  may  come  to  the  throne,  should,  for 
securing  the  peace  of  the  world,  order  his  brothers  to  be  executed.  Let  them 
hereafter  act  accordingly." 

^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  352  flf. 

^  Menavino,  219;  Trevisano,  129;  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  365. 

^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  314. 

THE  ARMY  95 

and  though  the  influence  of  his  mother  Roxelana  was  strong  in 
his  favor,^  Speculation  is  dangerous;  but  the  Janissaries  may 
have  done  Western  Europe  a  great  service  on  these  occasions. 
Had  either  Mustapha  or  Bayezid  come  to  the  throne  instead 
of  the  drunken  and  dissolute  Selim  II,  the  issue  of  Lepanto 
might  have  been  difi'erent,  a  new  expedition  against  Vienna  led 
by  a  vigorous  and  idohzed  young  monarch  might  have  suc- 
ceeded, the  Ottoman  power  might  have  ruled  more  widely  and 
permanently  than  it  did,  and  the  decay  of  the  Ruling  Institu- 
tion might  have  been  long  postponed.^ 

The  Janissaries  in  Suleiman's  time  numbered  between  twelve 
and  fourteen  thousand ;  ^  and  this  number  probably  did  not 
include  the  garrison  which  supported  the  power  of  the  empire 
in  Egypt,^  still  less  that  which  upheld  the  corsair  rule  in  North 
Africa.  Except  in  time  of  war  many  of  the  Janissaries  were  dis- 
tributed in  garrisons,  so  that  probably  not  more  than  half  resided 
in  the  capital.^  Such  of  these  as  were  married  lived  at  home,  and 
the  others  were  lodged  in  two  great  barracks.^  They  were  organ- 
ized in  messes  of  ten;  ten  messes  constituted  an  orta  or  oda,  of 

1  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  185-189. 

^  Postel,  iii.  87,  says,  about  1537:  Suleiman  "  has  among  others  a  son  named 
Mustapha,  marvelously  well  educated  and  prudent  and  of  the  age  to  reign;  for 
he  is  23  or  24  years  old;  and  God  grant  that  so  great  an  atrocity  may  not  come 
so  near  us  {Dieii  ne  permette  qu'tote  Barbarie  si  grande  vienne  si  pres  dc  ftous)." 

'  10,000  is  the  number  according  to  Bragadino,  106.  12,000  is  given  by  almost 
all  contemporaries:  Ramberti,  below,  p.  249;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  266;  Giovio, 
Commenlarius,  y6;  Geuffroy,  234;  Navagero,  53;  Trevisano,  128;  Barbaro,  305; 
Postel,  iii.  30;  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  86;  Nicolay,  88;  Erizzo,  127.  Nava- 
gero, 56,  says  some  think  that  15,500  or  16,000  were  inscribed;  and  Garzoni, 
416,  says  that  there  were  13,000  or  14,000.  Djevad  Bey,  i.  90,  gives  12,000  in 
1523,  and  13,599  ii^  i574-  I"  1564  D.  Barbarigo,  33,  gives  a  precise  number, 
13,502.  D'Ohsson,  vii.  330,  says,  without  stating  any  authority  and  against  the 
above  contemporary  evidence,  that  Suleiman  raised  the  number  to  40,000.  Ham- 
mer {Geschichte,  i.  95,  and  iii.  473)  says,  referring  to  D'Ohsson,  that  Suleiman  had 
20,000;  hut  inhi?,  Staatsverwaltung,  195,  he  stales  that  Suleiman  had  only  12,000 
before  Szigets.  Knollcs  (ed.  1687,  p.  990)  says,  about  1603,  that  the  Janissaries 
numbered  not  over  12,000  to  14,000. 

*  Junis  Bey,  272,  and  Ludovisi,  17,  give  the  number  of  this  garrison  as  3000. 
Postel,  38,  gives  the  number  as  30,000;  this  must  include  the  Mamelukes. 

*  Giovio,  Commoitarius,  77:  about  6000  of  the  older  of  them  stay  about  the 
Prince.    Navagero,  55:  8000  to  10,000  are  always  ready. 

6  Ramberti,  249;  Junis  Bey,  267. 


which  there  were  one  hundred  and  sixty-five  in  Suleiman's  time.^ 
Each  orta  had  its  ofiEicers,  who  had  been  promoted  from  its  ranks; 
and  above  all  the  ortas  was  a  graded  set  of  officers,  under  the 
Agha,  or  general,  of  the  Janissaries.^  This  official  had  never 
been  a  Janissary,  but  had  come  through  the  colleges  of  pages.^ 
He  not  merely  commanded  the  Janissaries,  but  was  a  sort  of 
minister  of  war  for  them.  Aided  by  his  Kiaya,  or  lieutenant,* 
his  chief  Yaziji,  or  scribe,  and  a  bureau  of  clerks,  he  directed 
their  enrolment,  the  distribution  of  their  pay,  their  promotions, 
their  location,  the  purchase  of  their  supplies  and  clothing,  and 
all  the  other  business  of  the  corps.  He  was  well  paid  and  was 
of  great  authority,  outranking  all  other  generals,  though  on 
some  occasions  he  was  obliged  to  yield  precedence  to  two  of 
the  generals  of  cavalry,  whose  corps  were  older  than  those  of 
the  Janissaries.^ 

The  Janissaries  had  a  regular  ladder  of  promotion  through 
the  offices  of  their  odas  and  above,  as  far  as  the  position  of 
Segban-bashi,  which  was  the  office  next  below  that  of  Agha.^ 
One  hundred  and  fifty  of  their  best  bowmen  were  honored  by 
being  detailed  to  accompany  the  sultan  on  the  march,  as  his 
SolaksJ  They  might  also  for  distinguished  abihty  or  service 
be  taken  into  the  regular  cavalry,  and  have  all  its  opportunities 
open  to  them.     No  less  than  the  rest  of  the  army,  they  kept 

^  Hammer,  Slaatsverwaltiing,  194;  Ricaut,  365  (mentions  162  odalar);  Djevad 
Bey,  i.  28.  In  Chalcocondyles's  time  (1465),  97,  the  strength  of  each  oda  seems  to 
have  been  of  50  men.  In  Suleiman's  time  it  was  less  than  100.  Later  it  became 
much  larger. 

^  Nicolay,  96-97;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  313-320;  Hammer,  StaatsverwaUiing,  201  ff.; 
Djevad  Bey,  i.  35,  45. 

*  D'Ohsson,  vii.  314;  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  428.  This  was  the  case  only  from 
1515  to  1582. 

*  Kiaya  is  a  word  which  offered  infinite  difficulties  of  pronunciation  and  spell- 
ing; for  example,  gachaia,  cacaia,  checaya,  quaia,  queaya,  caia,  cahaia,  chiccaia, 
chechessi.  Some  authors  employ  a  different  spelling  each  time  they  use  the  word. 
Trevisano,  118,  gives  chietcudasci.  Kiaya  represents  the  popular  pronuncia- 
tion. The  more  nearly  correct  form  of  the  word,  following  the  Turkish  spelling, 
is  kelkhuda. 

*  D'Ohsson,  vii.  353. 
^  Djevad  Bey,  i.  35. 

'  Ramberti,  below,  p.  250;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  266. 

THE  ARMY  97 

marvellous  order  in  camp,  and,  except  at  the  crises  above  de- 
scribed, were  completely  obedient  to  their  officers. '  They  were 
punishable  only  by  their  own  officers,  not  even  the  grand  vizier 
having  direct  jurisdiction  over  them.^  They  had  a  strong  sense 
of  maintaining  their  privileges  and  what  they  considered  to  be 
their  rights.  Busbecq,  who  gives  illumination  at  so  many 
points,  shows  how  the  grand  vizier  Rustem,  and  even  Suleiman 
himself,  felt  toward  these  men  when  they  were  all  together  and 
their  blood  was  hot.  On  one  occasion  Busbecq's  servants 
quarreled  with  some  Janissaries,  and  he  was  disposed  to  back 
his  men  up;  whereupon  Rustem  sent  a  trusty  messenger  to 
him  with  a  verbal  message,  asking  him  "  to  remove  every  cause 
of  offence  which  might  occasion  a  quarrel  with  those  atrocious 
scoundrels.  Was  I  not  aware,"  he  asked,  "  that  it  was  war 
time,  when  they  were  masters,  so  that  not  even  Solyman  him- 
self had  control  over  them,  and  was  actually  himself  afraid  of 
receiving  violence  at  their  hands  ?  "  ^  Great  care  had  to  be 
taken  to  keep  the  Janissaries  under  control,  for  they  were  capable 
of  wrecking  the  whole  government.  They  were,  to  be  sure, 
constantly  drained  of  their  ablest  men  by  promotion;  but  this 
only  left  the  others  the  more  liable,  like  sheep,  to  follow  a  new 
leader  into  evil.  They  could  be  repressed  more  or  less  by  pun- 
ishment: now  and  then  an  especially  active  promoter  of  trouble 
was  executed ;  "*  officers  who  offended  were  sometimes  sent  to 
command  distant  garrisons,  and  sometimes  they  were  stricken 
from  the  roll.^  Suleiman  succeeded,  on  the  whole,  in  keeping 
the  Janissaries  in  hand,  and  he  was  able  to  lead  them  farther 
east  than  could  his  father  Selim.  They  never  revolted  against 
him,®  and  they  supported  him  against  Bayezid. 

1  Ludovisi  (1534),  9,  gives  a  pessimistic  account  of  them;  according  to  him, 
they  had  not  the  order  or  the  discipline  or  the  astuteness  which  was  found  in  the 
Christian  infantry.  Postel,  iii.  30,  praises  them  greatly  for  order,  frugality,  and 
temperance.  Djevad  Bey,  i.  56-64,  gives  a  favorable  description;  he  says  (p.  56) 
that  the  first  of  their  fundamental  laws  enjoined  absolute  obedience. 

2  Postel,  iii.  31;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  353;  Djevad  Bey,  i.  66,  69. 
'  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  296. 

*  D'Ohsson,  vii.  351;  Djevad  Bey,  i.  56-59. 

'  Ramberti,  below,  p.  249;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  267;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  352. 

•  Djevad  Bey,  i.  289. 


The  Spahis  of  the  Porte  ^ 

The  regular  cavalry  were  all  included  under  the  general  name 
of  Spahis,  or  horsemen;  but  the  name  was  also  applied  to  one 
of  the  four  divisions  into  which  Osman's  corps  of  daring  riders 
had  been  organized  after  the  model  of  the  cavalry  of  the  caliph 
Omar  I.^  Their  organization  was  older  than  that  of  the  Janis- 
saries; it  had  come  down  continuously  from  the  early  days.^ 
The  members  were  not  organized  into  a  single  body,  they  had 
high  pay,  and  they  were  in  the  presence  of  excellent  opportuni- 
ties to  acquire  wealth  and  to  rise  with  rapidity.  Accordingly, 
they  appear  never  to  have  caused  Suleiman  any  special  trouble.^ 

The  four  corps  were  the  Spahis  in  the  narrower  sense,  often 
called  Spahi-Oghlans;  the  Silihdars,  or  weapon-bearers;  the 
Ulufajis,  or  paid  troops,  in  two  divisions,  the  left  and  the  right-, 
and  the  Ghurebas,  or  Foreign  Legion,  also  in  two  divisions,  the 
left  and  the  right.^  The  Spahis  were  most  honored  and  best 
paid,  but  each  had  to  bring  with  him  to  war  five  or  six  armed 
slaves  on  horseback.  The  Silihdars  had  less  pay  and  furnished 
four  or  five  horsemen.  The  Ulufajis  furnished  two  or  three 
horsemen  each.^  These  three  corps  were  recruited  from  the 
pages  and  the  Janissaries,  the  Ulufajis  receiving  also  occasional 
members  by  special  promotions  from  the  irregular  troops.'' 
The  Foreign  Legion  had  least  pay  of  all,  and  its  members  came 
alone;  not  having  begun  as  the  sultan's  kullar,  and  often  not 

^  This  name  for  the  sultan's  paid  cavalry  is  that  regularly  employed  by  the 
Venetian  writers  of  the  sixteenth  century:  for  example,  Moro,  337;  Bernardo,  330. 
2  Hammer,  Geschichte,  i.  95. 
^  D'Ohsson,  vii.  353. 

*  For  the  great  disturbance  which  they  raised  in  1593,  see  Zinkeisen,  iii.  79. 
5  All  of  these  names  are  spelled  with  an  ingenious  variety  in  contemporary 

writings:  — 

Spahi:  spai,  spachi,  sipahi,  sipah,  spacoillain  (spahi-oghlan). 

Silihdar:  selicter,  sillictar,  sulastrus,  suluphtar. 

Ulnfagi:  holofagi,  allophase. 

Ghureba:  caripy,  caripicus,  ciarcagi,  caripp  (oglan) ,  gharib  (oglan),  capi  (oglan) 

The  word  Spahi  is  of  identical  derivation  with  Sepoy. 

*  Ramberti,  below,  p.  250;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  267;  Postel,  iii.  34.  Giovio 
{Commentarius,  75)  says  that  some  Spahis  brought  as  many  as  ten  horsemen. 

^  Giovio,  75;  Postel,  iii.  35. 

TUE  AmiY  99 

even  as  Ottomans,  they  enjoyed  small  honor.^  Each  of  the 
first  two  corps,  and  each  division  of  the  last  two  corps  of  the 
Spahis  of  the  Porte,  was  organized  separately  after  the  fashion 
of  the  Janissaries,  with  its  own  general,  who  supervised  the 
administration  of  all  its  affairs.^  The  number  of  the  Spahis 
of  the  Porte  is  given  on  two  bases.  In  Suleiman's  time  the  actual 
members  of  the  four  corps  counted  from  ten  to  twelve  thousand 
men,  or  a  little  less  than  the  number  of  the  Janissaries;  ^  but, 
since  most  of  them  had  each  to  bring  from  two  to  six  additional 
horsemen,  the  total  force  which  they  assembled  was  from  forty 
to  fifty  thousand.'*  Whether  the  entire  number  or  only  the  actual 
members  were  regularly  considered  to  be  the  sultan's  kullar, 

'  They  were  called  "  poor  youth  "  by  Menavino,  152;  Junis  Bey,  267;  Ram- 
bcrti,  251;  Trevisano,  126;  Postel,  iii.  36.  Spandugino,  97,  says  that  they  were 
strangers  from  Asia,  Egypt,  and  Africa.  Giovio,  76,  says  that  they  were  all 
Moslems  from  Persia,  Turcomania,  Syria,  Africa,  Arabia,  Scythia,  and  even  India; 
but  he  is  wrong  in  confining  them  to  Moslems  in  the  sixteenth  century.  Trevi- 
sano, 126,  asserts  that  they  were  renegades  from  every  nation;  and  on  this 
authority  Zinkeisen  falls  into  the  opposite  error  of  confining  them  to  Christian 
renegades.  Postel,  iii.  36,  says  that  they  were  chosen  from  the  Akinjl,  Kurds, 
and  Azabs.  Menavino,  152,  declares  that  they  were  not  slaves  of  the  great  Turk, 
but  that  part  were  Turks,  part  Christian  renegades,  and  part  Arabs  (Mori). 

2  The  Spaltis  of  the  Porte  are  discussed  at  length  in  D'Ohsson,  vii.  364  ff.; 
Hammer,  Slaatsvcrwaltung,  237  ff.;  Zinkeisen,  iii.   168  fT. 

*  Giovio  {Cojnmentarius,  75)  mentions  2000  in  each  of  the  first  two  corps, 
and  1000  in  each  of  the  second  two.  Junis  Bey  (below,  p.  267)  puts  3000  in  each 
of  the  first  two  corps,  2000  in  each  of  the  second  two.  Ramberti  (below,  p.  250) 
gives  more  than  3000  Spahi-oghlans,  3000  SUihdars,  and  2000  in  each  of  the  other 
corps.  Ludovisi,  15,  puts  3000  in  each  of  the  first  two,  2500  in  the  third,  and 
2000  in  the  fourth.  Trevisano,  125,  puts  2000  in  each  but  the  fourth,  which 
contained  1500.  D.  Barbarigo,  ^^,  mentions  7095  Spahis.  Barbaro,  304,  says 
that  there  were  15,000  Spahis  of  the  Porte.  There  were  under  pay  in  1660, 
after  serious  changes,  7203  Spahis,  6254  SUihdars,  976  Ulufajis,  and  722  Ghurebas: 
Hammer,  Staalsveruvltimg,  175. 

*  A  calculation  based  on  Junis  Bey's  statements  gives  a  total  of  between  41,000 
and  40,000.  Garzoni,  413,  says  distinctly  that  there  were  40,000  Spahis  of  the 
Porte  paid  out  of  the  sultan's  treasury;  that  among  these  were  3000  Spahi-oghlans, 
3000  SUihdars,  3000  Ulufajis,  and  2000  Ghurebas  (ciarcagi);  and  that  the  grand 
vizier  had  1000  Spahis  assigned  to  his  retinue,  and  the  other  viziers  each  500. 
D'Ohsson,  vii.  364-365,  states  that  the  Spahis  proper  in  the  time  of  Moham- 
med II,  numbered  10,000,  and  that  .Achmet  III,  raised  their  strength  to  12,000; 
like  figures  for  the  Silihdars  were  8000  and  12,000.  This  estimate  must  include 
the  additional  horsemen. 


under  his  pay,  does  not  appear  clearly.  Probably  he  did  not 
pay  the  additional  horsemen  directly;  for  strictly  speaking,  they 
were  kullar  of  his  kullar.  In  time  of  battle  all  the  regular  troops, 
Spahis  and  Janissaries  aUke,  were  drawn  up  to  protect  the  sultan, 
the  Janissaries  being  aligned  in  front,  the  Spahis  proper  on  the 
right,  the  Silihdars  on  the  left,  and  the  Ulujajis  and  Ghurehas 
in  the  rear.^ 

The  Feudal  Spahis  ^ 

Outside  the  towns  the  greater  part  of  the  European  dominions 
of  the  sultan,  and  a  large  part  of  Asia  Minor,  were  granted  in 
fief  to  Moslems  who  were  for  the  most  part  not  kullar  of  the 
sultan. 3  They  deserve  to  be  considered  in  a  discussion  of  the 
government,  however,  not  only  because  they  collected  the 
revenues  and  exercised  seigniorial  jurisdiction  in  their  estates,^ 
but  also  because  they  were  ofl&cered  by  the  sultan's  kullar. 
The  estates  were  of  different  sizes  and  were  reckoned  in  three 
classes:  timars,  when  the  yearly  revenue  was  under  twenty 
thousand  aspers;  ziamets,  when  it  was  twenty  thousand  to  one 
hundred  thousand  aspers;  khasses,  when  it  was  over  one  hundred 

'  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  57;  Menavino,  148,  151. 

2  See  above,  pp.  47  (note  i),  91.  The  Ottoman  feudal  sj'stem  is  discussed  at 
length  in  Hammer,  Staatsverfassttng,  337  ff.;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  372  ff.;  Zinkeisen,  iii. 
145  ff.;  Belin,  Du  Regime  des  Fiefs  Militaires  en  Turquie;  Tischendorf,  Mos- 
lemisches  Lehnswesen. 

3  Junis  Bey  (below,  p.  271)  says,  shortly  after  describing  the  feudal  Spahis  of 
Europe,  that  "  all  the  Spahis  are  slaves  and  sons  of  slaves  of  the  Seigneur  (Tutti 
It  spachi  sono  schiaiii  b°  fgli  de  schiaiii  del  Sig[nor\);'^  but  this  statement  is 
incomplete.  Ramberti  (below,  p.  256)  adds,  "  and  sons  of  Spahis."  The  latter 
group  undoubtedly  contained  the  great  majority  of  the  feudal  Spahis.  Geuffroy 
246,  enlarges  on  the  statement  by  saying  that  the  30,000  feudal  Spahis  of  Europe 
were  all  Ajem-oghlans  and  slaves  of  the  great  Turk.  Xo  other  writer  terms  them 
kullar.  Garzoni,  412,  calls  them  Turkish  soldiers.  The  whole  theory  of  the 
Ottoman  feudal  system  made  them  such;  the  smaller  fiefs  were  hereditary  from  of 
old,  and  gaps  were  filled  from  volunteers  with  the  army,  who  must  have  been 
Moslems,  since  Christians  were  not  allowed  to  bear  arms:  Hammer,  Staatsver- 
fassung,  349  ff.  ("  Kanun-nameh  of  the  granting  of  Timars  and  Ziamets  ")■ 

*  Junis  Bey,  p.  271  (they  collect  the  income  from  the  Christians,  etc.);  Moro, 
339  (they  are  appointed  by  the  king  to  administer  justice);  Hammer,  Ge- 
schichte, iii.  478;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  373.  Heidborn,  157,  discusses  their  duties  in 
some  detail. 


thousand  aspers.^     Timars  might  be  united  into  a  ziamet,  but 

ziamels  could  not  be  divided.-     Every  fief-holder  must  appear 

in  person  when  summoned  to  war.     If  the  annual  income  of  a 

Timarji,  or  Timariote,  reached  six  thousand  aspers,  he  must 

bring  with  him  an  armed  horseman;  and  he  must  bring  another 

for  each  additional  three  thousand  aspers  of  his  revenue.     The 

holder  of  a  larger  fief  must  bring  with  him  an  armed  horseman 

if  his  income  amounted  to  ten  thousand  aspers,  and  another 

horseman  for  each  additional  five  thousand  aspers  of  income.^ 

In  the  sixteenth  century  this  service  was  strictly  exacted,  and  the 

fief-holders  were  held  to  residence  on  their  estates.     The  principle 

of  heredity  entered  into  the  distribution  of  these  estates,  but 

under  limitations.     One  son  of  the  holder  of  a  small  fief  had  a 

right  to  the  fief;'*  not  more  than  three  sons  of  the  holder  of  a 

large  fief  were  entitled  to  small  fiefs.^    The  sons  of  kiillar  in 

high  position  might  receive  fiefs  large  in  proportion  to  the  rank 

of  their  father;^  by  this  means  they  were  honorably  conveyed 

from  the  ruling  Institution  into  the  Moslem  population.     The 

Zaims  and  Timariotes,  as  the  holders  of  the  corresponding  fiefs 

were  named,  were  a  class  of  country  gentlemen,  honest,  sober, 

true  to  the  Moslem  faith  and  to  the  sultan,  better  in  morals  than 

the  kullar  if  not  so  able  of  intellect,  the  substantial  middle  class 

of  the  empire,  ancestors  of  those  who  today  give  hope  that 

Turkey  may  become  a  modern  nation.     It  was  these  who  gave 

the  first  training  to  the  Ajem-oghlans,  starting  them  well  on  the 

road  from  Christianity  to  Islam,  and  preparing  them  to  become 

members  of  the  Ottoman  nation. 

*  Hammer,  Staatsverwaltung,  275;  Heidborn,  145, 
2  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  476. 

'  Spandugino,  146,  states  that  under  Mohammed  II,  each  fief-holder  who  had 
5000  aspers  of  income  was  obliged  to  bring  another  with  him  to  war;  but  in  his 
time  (under  Bayezid  II)  this  obligation  was  imposed  upon  those  who  had  3000 
aspers,  unless  retired  on  account  of  age.  Rambcrti  and  Junis  Bey  (below,  pp.  256- 
271)  say  that  for  each  100  ducats  a  Spahi  must  keep  an  armed  horseman,  and 
three  or  four  servants,  and  a  like  number  of  hurses;  see  also  D'Ohsson,  vii.  373. 
Heidborn,  145,  states  that  holders  of  timars  brought  an  additional  warrior  for 
each  3000  aspers  of  income,  and  holders  of  ziamels  an  additional  one  for  each  5000 
aspers;  but  in  any  case  the  first  3000  aspers  was  exempt. 

*  D'Ohsson,  vii.  374. 

5  Hammer,  Slaaisvcrfassufig,  352.  •  Ibid.  94. 


In  the  time  of  Suleiman  the  system  of  fiefs  had  become  greatly 
disarranged.  1  The  distribution  of  them  had  been  left  to  the 
local  governors,  and  corruption  had  crept  in;  the  frequent 
wars  also  had  led  to  rapid  changes  and  consequent  confusion. 
Moreover,  the  army  always  contained  a  large  number  of  Gon- 
nullu,  or  volunteers,  who  came  at  their  own  expense,  and  fought 
with  the  hope,  often  realized,  of  receiving  the  fiefs  of  slain  men 
as  the  reward  of  signally  brave  conduct.^  It  is  said  that  during 
the  course  of  a  single  bloody  day  one  fief  changed  owners  seven 
times.  If  fiefs  might  thus  be  granted  in  the  midst  of  battle, 
it  is  not  easy  to  see  how  a  condition  of  reasonable  order  could 
have  been  preserved  in  the  feudal  system.  Suleiman,  therefore, 
by  a  Kanun  of  the  year  1530,  attached  the  granting  of  all  fiefs 
above  a  certain  size  once  more  to  the  central  government.^ 
Each  holder  of  such  a  fief  must  obtain  a  teskereh,  or  document, 
from  Constantinople,  in  order  to  have  good  title.^  The  central 
treasury  administered  such  estates  during  vacancies.  Only 
those  fief-holders  who  held  by  teskereh  were  entitled  to  be  called 
Spahis;^  the  others  were  known  as  Timarjis,  or  Timariotes. 
The  feudal  Spahis  of  Anatolia  were  more  under  the  authority 
of  the  governor  than  were  those  of  Europe;  they  were  not  so  well 
paid,  did  not  have  so  much  practice  in  fighting,  and  were  not  so 
highly  esteemed  as  soldiers.^ 

Thus  the  country  gentry  were  kept  under  good  control;  the 
accumulation  of  estates  was  prevented,  any  tendency  toward 
independence  could  easily  be  thwarted,  and  the  sultan  obtained 
regularly  the  service  for  which  the  lands  were  granted.  In 
addition,  most  of  the  subject  Christian  population  was  governed 
locally  without  any  trouble  to  the  sultan,  and  was  held  down 
well  and  uniformly  by  resident  seigneurs.     A  great  advantage 

^  Hammer  {ibid.  143  ff.)  describes  Suleiman's  legislation,  giving  translations 
of  much  of  it. 

2  Ricaut,  343- 

'  D'Ohsson,  vii.  374;  Hammer,  Staalsverfassung,  352  ff. 

^  The  limit  differed  according  to  region.  In  Rumelia  a  teskereh  was  required 
for  all  timars  of  6000  aspers  and  over,  and  for  all  ziamets:  Hammer,  Staalsverwal- 
tung,  275. 

^  Ramberti  (below,  p.  256)  gives  this  limit  as  100  ducats,  or  5000  aspers. 

8  Garzoni,  413;  Tanco,  209. 


of  the  system  was  that,  by  the  granting  of  new  fiefs  in  newly- 
conquered  lands,  the  territorial  army  was  automatically  increased 
in  proportion  to  the  increase  of  the  empire.' 

Officers  of  the  Feudal  Spahis 

Local  government  and  the  command  of  the  feudal  Spahis 
was  cared  for  by  officials  who  belonged  to  the  sultan's  great 
slave-family,  and  who  brought  with  them  to  their  posts  a  number, 
proportioned  to  their  rank,  of  Spahis  of  the  Porte,  pages,  Ajem- 
oghlans,  and  slaves  of  their  own.  The  lowest  of  these  officers 
were  the  Subashis,  or  captains,  who  were  in  time  of  peace  gover- 
nors of  towns,  with  enough  Janissaries  and  Azabs,  or  irregular 
infantry,  to  police  the  locality.^  Next  above  these  were  the 
Alai  Beys,  or  colonels,  who  in  time  of  peace  were  ready  with  a 
company  of  from  two  hundred  to  five  hundred  troops  to  pass 
from  place  to  place  as  there  might  be  need.^  Above  these  again 
were  the  Sanjak  Beys,  who  governed  important  cities  and  held 
superior  rule  over  a  number  of  towns  and  the  district  in  which 
they  lay/  Finally,  in  the  Balkan  Peninsula  and  in  Western 
Asia  Minor  there  was  from  of  old  a  Beylerbey,  who  had  authority 
over  all  the  Beys  of  his  region.  Incomes  were  provided  by  the 
assignment  of  fiefs  proportioned  in  size  to  each  officer's  impor- 
tance.^ All  of  these  officers  of  local  government  had  a  sufficient 
staff  of  lieutenants,  treasurers,  book-keepers  and  clerks.^  The 
Beylerbey  of  Rumelia  resided  in  time  of  peace  at  Constantinople. 
The  Beylerbey  of  Anatolia  seems  to  have  spent  much  time  in  his 

^  Bernardo,  329;  KnoUes  (ed.  1687),  983. 

2  Spandugino,  211;  Zinkeiscn,  iii.  129.  The  feudal  Spain's  had  lower  officers 
who  were  not  sent  out  from  the  capital,  such  as  the  Cheri-bashis. 

'  The  name  means  "  ensign  bey,"  and  was  translated  flambole:  for  example, 
Geuffroy,  246. 

*  Postcl,  iii.  44;  Ticpolo,  138. 

*  Heidborn,  140,  says  that  the  Subashis  had  ziamets,  the  Alai  Beys  had  small 
khasses,  the  Sanjak  Beys  had  khasses  of  a  million  aspers  or  more,  and  the  Beylerbeys 
much  more.  The  amount  which  he  assigns  to  the  Sanjak  Beys  is  too  large  for 
Suleiman's  time.  Ramberti  (below,  pp.  250-258)  gives  their  income  at  from 
4000  to  12,000  ducats,  which  would  amount  to  from  200,000  to  600,000  aspers. 

6  Ramberti,  below,  p.  256;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  271. 


dominions/  though  undoubtedly  he  was  often  at  the  capital, 
since  he  had  his  regular  place  in  the  Divan. 

In  time  of  war  this  official  scheme,  detached  from  its  function 
of  local  government,  drew  together  the  feudal  Spahis,  section 
by  section,  into  a  perfectly  organized  territorial  army  for  each 
of  the  two  regions.  Notice  of  time  and  place  was  sent  round, 
and  within  a  month  every  man  called  had  joined  his  proper 
standard.2  After  uniting  with  the  sultan's  regular  army,  the 
army  of  Rumelia  under  its  Beylerbey  had  the  right  of  the  battle- 
line  when  fighting  in  Europe,  and  the  army  of  Anatolia  under 
its  Beylerbey  had  the  right  of  the  line  when  fighting  in  Asia.^ 
The  enrolled  feudal  troops  of  Europe  numbered  about  fifty 
thousand,  and  those  of  Asia,  including  Anatolia,  Karamania, 
Amasia,  and  Avandole,  thirty  thousand.^  In  each  case  the 
number  should  be  doubled  or  tripled  to  allow  for  the  additional 
horsemen  which  all  the  Spahis  were  required  to  bring.^  On  the 
other  hand,   a  considerable  proportion  of   the  feudal   troops, 

1  Menavino,  i86,  igo,  says  that  in  his  time  the  Beylerbey  of  Anatolia  resided 
at  Kutaia  (Custage).  Ramberti,  259,  mentions  the  same  place  (Chiothachie)  as 
the  seat  of  his  sanjakate.  Knolles  (ed.  i6S7,p.  986)  says  that  all  the  Beylerbeys 
except  the  Beylerbey  of  Rumelia  were  supposed  to  reside  within  their  dominions. 

2  Tractakis,  ch.  xi.  ^  Trevisano,  132. 

^  In  Europe  30,000  Spahis  and  20,000  Timarjis;  in  Anatolia  12,000  Spahis; 
in  Karamania  7000,  Amasia  4000,  and  Avandole  7000.  This  is  the  estimate  of 
Junis  Bey  and  Ramberti,  which  Geuffroy,  247,  follows,  and  which  Postel,  iii. 
37  ff.,  changes  a  little  (Karamania  5000  instead  of  7000,  Amasia  omitted). 
Ludovisi,  16,  gives  practically  the  same  figures.  Navagero,  41,  gives  40,000 
in  Europe  and  80,000  to  100,000  in  Asia,  the  latter  figure  probably  including  the 
troops  of  Syria  and  Mesopotamia,  and  of  Egypt,  which  was  not  provided  with  fiefs 
in  the  same  way.  Barbaro,  304,  and  Garzoni,  412,  mention  80,000  in  Europe 
and  50,000  in  Asia.  D.  Barbarigo  (1558),  33,  speaks  of  a  sum  total  of  160,000 
feudal  Spahis.  Tiepolo  (1576),  140,  speaks  of  60,000  timars  in  Europe  which  sent 
80,000  Spahis,  and  50,000  Spahis  from  Asia.  The  number  may  have  increased 
about  one-half  during  Suleiman's  regin,  but  it  is  more  likely  that  all  the  groups  of 
figures  are  only  estimates.  Ricaut,  341,  after  careful  inquiry,  gives  the  number 
of  Zaims  in  his  time  as  10,948,  and  of  Timarjis  as  72,436,  for  the  whole  empire 
except  Egypt.  He  thinks  that  this  estimate  should  be  increased  to  100,000.  The 
total  feudal  contingent  in  the  time  of  Achmet  I,  was  by  Turkish  authority  about 
the  same  (Tischendorf,  57  ff.).  D'Ohsson,  vii.  375,  estimates  the  feudal  troops 
at  200,000  in  Suleiman's  time;  on  p.  381,  however,  he  speaks  of  more  than  150,000 
men.     See  below,  p.  107,  n.  i. 

^  Postel,  iii.  38  ("  triple  pour  le  moins  ")• 


sometimes  estimated  at  one-half/  remained  on  duty  at  home 
in  time  of  war  to  protect  the  provinces  and  prevent  uprisings. 
The  feudal  troops,  while  brave,  eager,  and  regardless  of  their 
lives,  had  not  the  physical  strength  nor  the  practice  of  fighting 
in  squadrons  which  the  regular  troops  had,  and  hence  were  not 
their  equals. 

The  Beylerbeys  of  Rumeha  and  Anatolia  were  called  out  with 
their  troops  for  every  campaign.  The  eight  other  Beylerbeys 
of  Suleiman's  time,  —  those  of  Karamania,  Amasia,  Avandole, 
Syria,  Mesopotamia,  Egypt,  Hungary ,2  and  Temesvar,^  — 
who  had  fewer  feudal  troops  at  command  and  more  need  of  them 
at  home,  were  summoned  only  when  the  war  was  in  their  region. 

Other  Bodies  of  Troops 

There  were  three  principal  bodies  of  irregular  troops,  the 
Akinji  or  cavalry,  the  Azahs  or  infantry,  and  the  Kurds;  besides 
various  smaller  groups,  such  as  the  descendants  of  the  ancient 
corps  of  Yayas  and  Mosellems,  who  held  fiefs  of  a  sort  in  the 
oldest  sanjaks  of  the  empire,  and  the  Deli  or  "  crazy  "  company 
of  scouts."*  The  Akinji  numbered  perhaps  thirty  thousand  in 
time  of  peace  and  were  mainly  near  the  European  frontier,  where 
they  made  a  living  by  raiding.  They  received  no  pay  either  in 
peace  or  in  war,  but  gathered  booty  and  slaves  and  hoped  for 
promotion.^    The   Azahs  numbered   perhaps   ten   thousand   in 

1  Chesneau,  46;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  381.  KnoUes  (ed.  1687,  p.  990)  says  that  not 
over  one-third  could  safely  be  called  to  arms. 

2  After  the  year  1541:  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  232. 

3  After  the  year  1552:  Trevisano,  124.  The  number  of  the  Beylerbeys  was 
greatly  increased  in  the  last  third  of  the  sixteenth  century.  KnoUes,  9S6-988, 
mentions  live  in  Europe,  30  in  Asia,  and  4  in  Africa,  besides  the  Bcylerbcy  of  the 
Sea,  whose  office  was  created  by  Suleiman,  but  who  is  not  mentioned  above  as  having 
no  part  in  the  army. 

^  Spandugino,  153;  Nicoiay,  160. 

^  The  name  akinji  is  variously  spelled:  yachinji,  alcanzi,  alcangi,  aconiziae, 
alengi,  aquangi,  achiar,  aghiar.  Spandugino,  150,  says  that  the  sultan  can  collect 
200,000  of  these  for  the  war;  Rambcrti  and  Junis  Bey  (below,  pp.  257,  271)  men- 
tion 60,000  as  inscribed;  Giovio  {CommcnUiriits,  81)  names  30,000;  Garzoni,  414, 
says  25,000  or  30,000;  Postel,  iii.  26,  says  50,000  or  60,000.  Ramberti,  271,  tells 
us  that  when  in  arms  they  were  entitled  to  living  expenses  from  the  villages  near 
which  they  passed. 


peace  and  forty  thousand  in  war.^  Some  of  them  sensed  in  the 
garrisons  and  some  with  the  fleet.-  The  number  of  the  Akinjis 
and  Azahs  was  greatly  augmented  in  time  of  war  by  the  addition 
of  volunteers,  many  of  whom  were  criminals  and  rufiians.^ 
The  irregular  troops  were  the  terror  of  the  invaded  lands  in  war 
time;  for  the  regular  army  was  held  under  iron  discipline,  but 
these  irresponsible  creatures  carried  fire,  rapine,  and  sword  over 
wide  areas  of  country.  In  time  of  siege  and  battle  the  Azahs 
were  sent  forward  to  break  the  charge  of  the  enemy,  or  to  aid  in 
filling  the  moats  by  their  own  bodies.^  Such  as  lived  were 
rewarded  generously;  the  rest  were  believed  to  pass  at  once  by 
a  martyr's  death  to  heavenly  reward.^  The  Kurds  lay  near  the 
Persian  frontier  to  the  number  of  about  thirty  thousand.  Indi- 
viduals among  the  Akinji,  Azahs,  and  Kurds  might  hope  to 
become  gentlemen  through  distinguished  bravery,  by  being  made 
Ulufajis  among  the  Spahis  of  the  Porte.^ 

Attached  to  the  regular  army  there  were  also  various  auxil- 
iary corps  of  armorers,  cannoneers,  men  of  transport  service, 
musicians,  commissaries,  and  the  Hke,  to  the  number  of  three 
or  four  thousand  in  all.^  The  Tartars  of  the  Crimea,  and  the 
Moldavians  and  Wallachians,  were  also  obhged  to  furnish  con- 
tingents.^ All  told,  the  enrolled  strength  of  the  entire  army 
was  something  more  or  less  than  two  hundred  thousand  men. 
But,  since  the  Spahis  were  required  to  bring  other  fighting  men 
with  them  in  proportion  to  their  revenues,  since  numerous  slaves 
and  private  servants  accompanied  the  soldiers,  and  since  the 
feudal  and  irregular  troops  were  joined  by  great  numbers  of 
volunteers,  both  horse  and  foot,  high  and  low,  the  complete 

1  Zinkeisen,  iii.  203. 

2  Spandugino,  152.  Junis  Bey,  270,  mentions  1000  with  the  fleet,  and  Postel, 
iii.  71,  mentions  10,000. 

*  Postel,  iii.  26. 

*  Chalcocondyles,  135;  Giovio,  Commentarius ,  81,  etc. 
^  Spandugino,  151. 

6  See  above,  p.  98. 

'  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  268.  In  addition  were  several  thousand  saddlers,  etc., 
who  were  not  reckoned  as  regular  troops:  the  Bostanjis,  older  pages,  body-guards, 

8  KnoUes  (ed.  1687),  984. 


army  for  the  greatest  expeditions  probably  numbered  about 
three  hundred  thousand  men.'  At  the  close  of  Suleiman's 
reign  the  paid  nucleus  was  about  fifty  thousand  strong;  the 
feudal  Spahis  for  a  European  campaign  numbered  about 
sixty  thousand,  with  perhaps  a  like  number  of  helpers.  The 
remaining  troops  were  of  no  great  value  in  battle,  unless  to 
break  the  first  shock  of  the  enemy's  charge.  They  served 
chiefly  to  lay  waste  the  hostile  country  and  to  gather  booty  and 

'  Several  contemporary  estimates  of  the  complete  army  may  be  compared: 
Marini  Sanuto,  under  date  of  October  26,  1529,  gives  an  estimate  of  the  Turkish 
army  then  before  Vienna  as  containing  305,200  men.  The  same  writer  {Diarii, 
Ivi)  gives  three  or  four  estimates  from  the  year  1532,  when  Suleiman  went  forth 
on  the  Giins  campaign:  on  p.  768,  Suleiman's  army  is  said  to  contain  500,000 
men;  on  p.  870  is  found  an  account  of  Suleiman's  entry  into  Belgrade,  in  which 
170,300  men  are  mentioned,  besides  "  adventurers  "  and  "  many  others  ";  on  the 
same  page  is  estimated  the  number  with  which  the  Sultan  was  to  leave  Belgrade, 
which  sums  up  284,500,  and  does  not  seem  to  account  fully  for  the  territorial  armies; 
on  p.  894  he  summarizes  a  despatch  from  Ratisbon,  dated  August  23,  1532,  which 
relates  the  testimony  of  three  Turkish  prisoners  to  the  effect  that  the  Turkish  army 
numbers  over  300,000  persons,  but  that  not  over  80,000  are  good  fighting  men. 
Postel,  iii.  38,  estimates  the  enrolled  army  at  218,000,  and  the  whole  at  500,000. 
He  states  elsewhere  that  Suleiman  took  500,000  men  with  him  on  the  Persian 
expedition  of  1534-35.  Chesneau's  impression  (pp.  106-108)  of  Suleiman's  army, 
when  he  saw  it  near  Aleppo  in  the  spring  of  1549,  was  that  it  occupied  80,000 
to  100,000  tents,  on  a  plain  eight  to  ten  miles  long;  that  it  contained  300,000  to 
400,000  fighting  men,  of  whom  all  but  10,000  or  12,000  Janissaries  were  on  horse- 
back; and  that  the  total  number  of  persons  assembled  was  about  a  million.  Ches- 
neau's chief,  the  ambassador  D'Aramont,  writing  concerning  the  same  expedition 
from  Esdron  (Erzerum  ?)  a  few  weeks  later,  speaks  of  "  the  mass  of  his  (Suleiman's) 
army,  which  is  by  common  estimate  of  300,000  men,  as  may  be  Judged  from  the 
extent  of  the  camp,  which  extends  ten  or  twelve  miles  in  length,  and  contains  at 
least  60,000  tents  or  more,  with  such  order  and  obedience  that,  considering  the 
great  multitude,  it  is  almost  unbelievable  "  (Charriere,  ii.  68).  In  the  year  1558, 
A.  Barharigo,  150-151,  estimated  the  cavalry  alone  at  more  than  300,000. 
Twenty-six  years  after  Suleiman's  death  Bernardo,  331,  says  that  the  paid  troops, 
in  which  he  includes  the  sultan's  household  and  the  feudal  army,  amounted  to 
250,000  men.  Zinkeisen,  iii.  199,  estimates  the  extreme  total  of  the  sultan's 
cavalry  alone  at  565,000.  Knolles  (ed.  1687,  p.  984),  writing  about  1603,  says  that 
the  sultan  could  always  gather  150,000  Timariotcs  for  a  great  expedition.  He 
says  that  the  Timariotes  numbered  in  all  719,000  fighting  men,  of  whom  257,000 
were  in  Europe  and  426,000  in  Asia.  The  last  two  estimates  are  incredibly 


Discipline  and  Ardor 

Contemporary  observers  were  strongly  impressed  with  the 
wonderful  discipline  and  intense  zeal  for  fighting  that  was  seen 
among  the  Turks.  The  silence,  order,  and  cleanliness  of  the 
camps,  the  absolute  obedience,  enforced  if  need  be  by  severe 
punishments  and  executions,  the  submissiveness  to  long  marches, 
hard  labor,  and  scanty  food,  the  eagerness  for  battle,  the  joy 
in  conflict,  the  recklessness  of  life,  presented  a  perfection  of 
discipline,  self-control,  and  single-hearted  purpose  that  seemed 
miraculous.     A  few  of  the  many  witnesses  may  be  heard  briefly: 

"  The  Turks  come  together  for  war  as  though  they  had  been 
invited  to  a  wedding."  ^ 

"  The  Great  Turk  is  the  best  obeyed  by  his  subjects  of  all  the 
lords  that  I  know."  2 

"  I  think  there  is  no  prince  in  all  the  world  who  has  his  armies 
and  camps  in  better  order,  both  as  regards  the  abundance  of 
victuals  and  of  all  other  necessities  which  are  usually  provided, 
and  as  regards  the  beautiful  order  and  manner  they  use,  in  en- 
camping without  any  confusion  or  embarrassment."  ' 

"  Their  military  discipline  has  such  justice  and  severity  as 
easily  to  surpass  the  ancient  Greeks  and  Romans;  the  Turks 
surpass  our  soldiers  for  three  reasons:  they  obey  their  com- 
manders promptly;  they  never  show  the  least  concern  for  their 
lives  in  battle;  they  can  live  a  long  time  without  bread  and  wine, 
content  with  barley  and  water."  * 

"  Peace  and  silence  reign  in  a  Turkish  camp.  .  .  .  Such  is 
the  result  produced  by  military  disciphne,  and  the  stern  laws 
bequeathed  them  by  their  ancestors."  ^ 

"  It  is  marvellous  how  the  force  and  rigor  of  justice  increase 
in  war.  ...  If  the  soldiers  rob  or  beat,  the  head  comes  off, 
or  they  are  so  beaten  that  they  can  never  be  well  again."  ^ 

^  Tradalus,  ch.  xi,  marginal  summary. 
2  La  Broquiere,  273. 
^  Chalcocondyles,  135. 
*  Giovio,  Commentarius,  83  (condensed). 

^  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  293;  on  p.  221  he  compares  Turkish  and 
Western  soldiers  most  unfavorably  for  the  latter. 

^  Postel,  i.  126;   see  also  Dandolo,  166.     Georgevitz,  45,  says  that  he  accom- 


"  They  keep  the  divinest  order  in  the  world."  ^ 
"  In  truth  the  disciphne  could  not  be  better,  nor  the  obedience 
greater."  ^ 

"  For  such  as  are  acquainted  with  the  Histories  of  the  Turkish 
affaires,  and  doe  aduisedly  looke  into  the  order  and  course  of 
their  proceedinges:  doe  well  perceiue,  that  the  chief  est  cause 
of  their  sodaine  and  fearefull  puissaunce,  hath  beene  the  excel- 
lencie  of  their  Martial  discipline  joyned  with  a  singular  desire 
and  resolution  to  aduaunce  and  enlarge  both  the  bounds  of  their 
Empire  and  the  profession  of  their  Religion.  The  which  was 
alwaies  accompanied  with  such  notable  Policie  and  prudence, 
that  the  singularitie  of  their  vertue  and  good  gouernment, 
hath  made  their  Armes  alwaies  fearefull  and  fortunate,  and 
consequently,  hath  caused  the  greatnesse  of  their  estate."  ^ 

The  Supreme  Command 

The  sultan  was  commander-in-chief  of  the  entire  army, 
standing,  feudal,  and  irregular.  When  the  army  was  summoned 
for  a  great  campaign,  it  gathered  about  him;  on  the  march  and 
in  camp  every  body  of  troops  had  its  place  with  reference  to  him ;  ^ 
in  formation  of  battle,  he  was  the  central  point  about  which  the 
whole  vast  display  was  organized.  When  the  army  was  assem- 
bled, and  then  only,  the  sultan  stood  forth  visibly  and  palpably 
as  the  head  and  center  of  the  Ruling  Institution  and  of  the 
Ottoman  nation  upon  which  it  rested.  His  kullar  were  gathered 
about  him  in  devotion  of  body  and  soul;  they  were  going  forth 
under  his  leadership  against  the  infidel  or  the  heretic;  they  were 
manifesting  the  results  of  the  long  and  careful  training  that  he 
had  given  them;  they  marched,  encamped,  and  fought  under 
his  eye  and  command;   they  formed  an  honored  and  privileged 

panied  the  Turkish  army  on  an  expedition  against  Persia  (probably  1533  to 
1536):  "  I  saw  a  Spain  decapitated  together  with  his  horse  and  servant,  because 
the  horse,  having  been  left  loose,  entered  some  one's  field.'' 

^  Postel,  iii.  31,  speaking  particularly  of  the  Janissaries. 

^  Morosini,  261. 

3  The  Policy  of  the  Turkish  Empire,  "  To  the  Reader." 

*  Junis  Bey  (below,  pp.  274,  275)  gives  the  order  of  march;  Postel,  29  ff., 
describes  the  encampment. 


nucleus  in  the  midst  of  a  vast,  loyal,  and  ambitious  national 
army;  they  surrounded  and  served  him  as  monarch  with  a  splen- 
dor seen  at  no  other  time;  ^  with  complete  apparatus  of  council, 
ministry,  treasury,  and  chancery,  they  carried  on  his  govern- 
ment from  whatever  city,  valley,  mountain,  or  plain  he  might 
be  occupying.  Here  was  the  Ruling  Institution  in  being,  ex- 
hibiting in  varying  degrees  all  its  aspects,  revealing  its  essential 
imity,  enforcing  the  despotic  will  of  its  master,  commander-in- 
chief,  and  chief  executive. 

The  very  greatness  and  unity  of  the  RuHng  Institution  as  an 
army  was  not  without  serious  disadvantages.  The  power  could 
not  wisely  be  delegated,  and  the  army  could  not  effectively  be 
divided.  At  the  opening  of  the  campaign  of  1529  Suleiman 
issued  to  Ibrahim  a  commission  as  Seraskier,  or  general  of  the 
army,  which  placed  the  Ruling  Institution,  the  Moslem  Institu- 
tion, the  Ottoman  nation  and  all  the  subject  nations  under  his 
command.  The  Sultan's  order  ran  as  follows:  "  My  Viziers, 
Beylerbeys,  Judges  of  the  Army,  Jurists,  Judges,  Seids,  Sheiks, 
Dignitaries  of  the  Court  and  Supports  of  the  Empire,  Sanjak 
Beys,  Generals  of  Cavalry  or  of  Infantry,  Alai  Beys,  Suhashis, 
Cherihashis,  and  all  the  victorious  Soldiery  great  and  small, 
high  and  low,  the  Officials  and  Appointees,  all  inhabitants  of 
My  kingdoms  and  lands,  the  people  of  city  and  country,  rich 
and  poor,  distinguished  and  ordinary,  and  all  men  are  to  recog- 
nize My  above-named  Grand  Vizier  as  Seraskier  .  .  .  and  to 
consider  all  that  he  says  and  desires  as  a  command  from  My 
own  mouth.  .  .  ."  ^  This  was  a  delegation  of  the  supreme 
command  of  the  army  and  all  the  human  military  resources  of 
the  empire  to  Ibrahim.  Since  Suleiman  himself  went  on  this 
campaign,  the  supreme  command  was  not  then  exercised  apart 
from  the  sultan's  presence.  Four  years  later,  however,  Ibrahim, 
clothed  with  the  same  authority,  was  sent  ahead  to  open  the 
Persian  campaign.  On  the  return  march  he  added  the  title  of 
Sultan  to  that  of  Seraskier  in  issuing  his  daily  orders.^     Perhaps 

^  Chalcocondyles,  135,  says  that  the  Turks  lodged  more  grandly  in  the  field 
than  in  peace  at  home. 

2  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  79.  '  Ibid.  160. 


he  felt  like  Pepin  the  Short,  that  he  who  had  the  power  of  king 
should  also  bear  the  name.  But  Suleiman  was  no  roi  faineant; 
Ibrahim  had  gone  too  far,  the  empire  could  have  but  one  head, 
and  Ibrahim  suffered  the  bow-string.^  Suleiman  profited  by 
the  experience;  he  appointed  no  more  Seraskiers  with  such 
exalted  powers,  but  himself  led  the  army  when  it  was  assembled 
as  a  whole.  The  campaign  of  Szigeth  was  the  thirteenth  which 
he  directed  in  person.^  The  precedent  of  delegating  the  supreme 
command  was,  however,  a  fatal  one;  for  Selim  the  Sot  and  all 
his  successors  were  to  use  this  method  to  avoid  the  exertion  of 
campaigning,  and  from  this  step  was  to  date  the  beginning  of 
the  empire's  downfall.''  "  This  so  constituted  organization  had 
need  of  two  things:  it  needed  for  its  animation  a  man  filled  him- 
self with  a  vivid  spirit  and  free  and  mighty  impulses,  and  to  give 
it  movement  and  activity  it  required  continual  campaigns  and 
progressive  conquests;  in  a  word,  war  and  a  warlike  chief."  ^ 
When  another  than  the  sultan  should  become  head  of  the  Ruling 
Institution  as  visibly  assembled,  and  yet  be  only  an  official 
removable  at  a  cloistered  monarch's  caprice,  the  army  would 
lose  the  keystone  of  its  organization,  and  ere  long  victory  would 
depart  from  its  banners. 

Indivisibility  of  the  Army 

The  essential  oneness  of  the  army,  based  on  the  sultan's  owner- 
ship of  the  standing  body  of  cavalry  and  infantry  and  its  attach- 
ment to  his  person,^  and  on  the  incapacity  of  the  territorial 
armies  to  carry  on  great  campaigns  alone,  was  also  a  fact  injurious 
to  the  Ottoman  power.  At  the  accession  of  Selim  I,  the  empire 
had  been  nearly  identical  in  territory  with  the  Byzantine  Empire 

^  Other  reasons  have  been  advanced  to  account  for  the  fall  of  Ibrahim  (cf. 
Postel,  iii.  48  ff.).  The  fact  that  he  had  became  a  danger  to  the  throne  is 

2  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  438. 

'  Halil  Ganem,  i.  206. 

*  Ranke,  11. 

s  The  Spahis  of  the  Porte,  and  the  Janissaries  were  not  as  a  body  put  under  a 
Seraskicr's  command  until  the  time  of  Alurad  III:  D'Ohsson,  vii.  30S;  Djevad 
Bey,  i.  16. 


under  the  Macedonian  dynasty.  No  great  power  had  marched 
with  it.  The  conquests  of  Selim  in  the  East  and  of  Suleiman  in 
Hungary  had  pushed  the  frontiers  to  the  borders  of  two  great 
powers:  Persia  on  the  east  and  Austria  on  the  west  remained 
henceforth  constantly  hostile  in  feeling  and  often  hostile  in  fact 
to  the  Ottoman  Empire.^  They  were  so  far  away  from  the  Otto- 
man capital  that  the  road  to  either  was  a  journey  of  months  for 
the  army,  and  relations  with  both  were  often  disturbed  at  the 
same  time;  but  there  was  only  one  great  army,  and  there  could 
be  only  one  serious  war.  If,  while  war  was  in  progress  on  one 
frontier,  conditions  became  intolerable  on  the  other,  it  was  neces- 
sary to  make  peace  on  what  terms  could  be  had,  and  carry  the 
army  to  the  other  extremity  of  the  empire.  Thus,  Suleiman  and 
Ibrahim  concluded  the  peace  of  1533  with  Charles  and  Ferdinand, 
in  order  to  be  free  to  proceed  against  Persia  at  once ;  ^  and  thus 
Suleiman  was  obliged  to  arrange  terms  with  Ferdinand  in  1547, 
in  order  to  march  against  Persia  in  1548.^  Had  a  Cardinal  Ces- 
arini  absolved  Charles  and  Ferdinand  from  either  treaty,  and 
had  they  been  able  to  act,  they  could  have  marched  to  Constanti- 
nople in  1534,  1535,  or  1548  against  practically  no  resistance.^ 
On  the  other  hand,  had  the  Ottoman  standing  army  been  divis- 
ible, and  separable  from  the  person  of  the  monarch,  the  Sultan 
could  have  kept  a  steady  pressure  at  both  frontiers;  and  by 
taking  advantage  of  opportunities  he  might  have  conquered  far 
to  the  west  and  north,  and  realized  his  ambition  of  adding  all 
the  heretical  Persian  dominions  to  his  empire  so  as  to  reach 

1  Hammer,  Gesckichte,  iii.  141. 

2  Final  audience  was  given  to  the  Austrian  ambassadors  on  June  23  (ibid.  138), 
and  Ibrahim  marched  about  September  21  (ibid.  143). 

3  Ibid.  277. 

*  Postel, iii.  54,  speaking  of  Charles  V  in  1535-36,  says:  "The  Emperor  had 
and  lost  during  the  war  against  the  Sofi  the  fairest  opportunity  that  ever  Prince 
had  in  this  world,  to  recover  Constantinople:  for  at  every  shaking  of  a  leaf,  all  the 
people  trembled,  and  there  was  no  guard  in  the  city  except  the  inhabitants  and  ten 
thousand  Ajem-oghlans  "  [these  from  the  time  of  Mohammed  II  had  been  commis- 
sioned to  guard  the  capital  during  the  army's  absence:  D'Ohsson,  vii.  348]. 
Erizzo,  131,  also  discusses  this  danger,  emphasizing  the  valor  of  the  Persians  and 
the  readiness  of  Asia  Minor  to  revolt.  The  Turks  in  Constantinople  in  1535 
feared  that  the  expedition  which  Charles  V  was  preparing  against  Tunis  was 
intended  for  an  attack  upon  their  city  (Revue  Africaine,  xix.  352). 


the  Chinese  frontier,  and  of  sending  the  horsetail  standards  to  the 
Atlantic  shore  of  North  Africa.^  Or  he  might  have  carried  out 
the  intention  expressed  through  Ibrahim  in  1533 — which  was 
quite  in  keeping  with  his  character  —  of  aiding  the  Emperor 
Charles  V  to  enforce  unity  of  religious  belief  upon  the  Protestants 
and  the  pope.^  It  is  interesting  to  notice  that  Austria  possessed 
two  great  advantages  over  Persia  in  the  wars  with  Turkey. 
The  Ottomans  did  not  wish  to  pass  the  winter  in  the  cold  north, 
but  they  did  not  object  seriously  to  staying  in  Aleppo  or  Bagdad. 
This  attitude  probably  saved  Vienna  for  Austria  and  lost  Bagdad 
for  Persia.  Again,  since  the  journey  from  Vienna  to  Constanti- 
nople was  much  easier  than  that  from  Tabriz  to  Constantinople, 
the  Austrians  could  have  reached  Constantinople  while  the 
Ottoman  army  was  in  the  East,  whereas  the  Persians  could  not 
have  reached  Constantinople  while  the  Ottomans  were  in  Austria. 
This  advantage  remained  theoretical,  however,  in  Suleiman's 
time,  since  neither  Austria  nor  Persia  was  ever  able  to  attempt 

Thus  the  inherent  character  of  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institu- 
tion, as  a  single  magnificent  army  united  under  the  supreme 
command  of  the  sultan,  made  the  institution  incapable  of  adapta- 
tion to  an  indefinitely  expanding  empire,  and  so  set  bounds, 
certain  as  those  of  fate,  to  Ottoman  conquest.  The  sultan  had 
but  one  arm;  it  was  a  long  arm  and  a  strong  one,  yet  it  could 
reach  only  a  fixed  distance,  and  it  could  strike  but  one  blow. 

^  Suleiman  in  his  letter  to  Ferdinand,  November  27,  1562,  says,  "  I,  Lord  of  the 
Orient  from  the  land  of  Tsin  to  the  extremity  of  Africa  " :  Busbecq,  De  Re  Militari, 

2  Ibrahim  said,  "  I,  if  I  now  wished  it,  could  place  Luther  on  one  side  and  the 
Pope  on  the  other,  and  compel  them  to  hold  a  council;  what  Charles  ought  to  have 
done,  the  Sultan  and  I  will  now  do  ":  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  134. 



I.   Privileges  of  the  Kullar 

No  disgrace  was  attached  to  the  condition  of  being  the  sultan's 
slave;  on  the  contrary,  the  title  of  kul  was  felt  to  be  an  honor. 
Boys  longed  to  bear  it.^  No  one  who  had  it  desired  to  be  rid 
of  it.  It'  carried  marked  distinction  and  secured  deference 
everywhere.  Those  who  revealed  by  their  costume,  bearing,  or 
assertion  that  they  were  the  sultan's  property  were  treated  with 
the  consideration  always  granted  in  monarchies  to  property  and 
persons  closely  related  to  the  sovereign. 

This  honor  shown  to  the  kullar  rested,  however,  on  no  mere 
servile  attachment  to  the  sultan  and  on  no  mere  fear  of  an 
Oriental  despot.  The  sultan's  slaves  from  lowest  to  highest 
were  set  off  from  his  subjects  by  a  distinct  set  of  privileges  which 
in  Western  minds  were  associated  only  with  nobility.  Besides 
a  general  protection  over  them  all  by  means  of  careful  registra- 
tion and  watchful  organization,  the  sultan  bestowed  upon  all 
his  kullar  the  personal  rights  of  immunity  from  taxation, ^  and 
responsibility  to  none  but  their  own  officials  and  courts  and  to 
him.^  At  the  same  time  he  freed  them  all  from  anxiety  about 
the  necessities  of  life,  and  enabled  most  of  them  to  enjoy  its 
luxuries,  by  regular  pay  from  his  treasury,  or,  in  the  case  of  some 
high  officials,  by  revenues  from  ample  estates.  In  return  for 
these  privileges  they  were  all  sternly  required  to  render  him 
honorable  service,  usually  of  a  mihtary  character.  This  service 
was  not  always  of  a  character  that  the  West  considered  honorable. 
The  labors  of  the  Ajem-oghlans,  and  the  foot  service  of  the  Janis- 
saries and  auxiliary  corps  were  not  noble  in  Christian  feudalism, 

^  Gerlach,  257,  quoted  in  Zinkeisen,  iii.  222. 
^  Postel,  iii.  19. 

^  Spandugino,  218;  Postel,  i.  126. 


which  knew  no  implements  but  sword  and  spear  and  fought  from 
the  back  of  a  horse.  But  these  humble  slaves  of  the  sultan 
possessed  the  same  privileges  as  the  highest,  and  any  service 
was  honorable  which  would  make  their  muscles  stronger  for 
fighting  and  teach  them  to  contribute  to  the  sultan's  military 
undertakings  on  sea  and  land.  All  members  of  the  sultan's 
family  were  supposed  to  use  their  income  in  strengthening  his 
military  forces.  Janissaries  had  pay  for  themselves  alone. 
Ghurebas  had  only  enough  to  keep  themselves  and  one  horse 
for  each  man.  Other  Spahis  of  the  Porte  brought  additional 
horsemen  in  accordance  with  their  pay.  Higher  officials  were 
expected  to  support  armed  households  large  in  proportion  to 
their  revenues.  After  the  model  of  the  sultan's  household, 
every  kul  according  to  his  means  built  up  a  military  estabhsh- 
ment  which  followed  him  and  his  master  to  war. 

Immunity  from  taxation  grew  naturally  out  of  the  slave 
status.  There  would  be  no  advantage  to  the  sultan  in  exacting 
taxes  from  persons  whom  he  supported  and  who  were  supposed 
to  devote  all  their  energies  to  his  service  and  use  all  their  income 
for  him.  As  long  as  the  Ruling  Institution  was  kept  firmly  to 
its  purpose,  pressure  was  applied,  not  so  that  successful  kullar 
would  surrender  part  of  their  income  to  the  master,  but  so  that 
they  would  bring  as  large  a  contingent  as  possible  to  fight  his 
battles.  Suleiman's  grand  vizier,  Rustem,  following  a  long- 
disused  precedent  of  the  time  of  Bayezid  I,^  —  a  reign  which  had 
in  various  ways  fore-shadowed  later  evils,  —  established  a  tax 
upon  the  greater  offices  of  the  empire ;2  but,  since  the  sultan 
did  not  receive  the  whole  of  such  charges,  the  custom  amounted 
to  the  sale  of  offices.  Not  only  was  such  a  practice  out  of  har- 
mony with  the  theory  of  the  Ruling  Institution,  but  it  proved 
very  injurious  in  operation,  and  was  rightly  accounted  one  of 
the  causes  of  the  decay  of  the  empire.  The  sultan  took  pay  at 
the  granting  of  an  office,  and  so  presently  did  every  official  from 
the  men  under  him;   until  in  time  the  practice  became  so  sys- 

*  D'Ohsson,  vii.  202. 

*  Suleiman  permitted  this  because  of  the  increase  it  produced  in  his  income: 
Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  114;  Halil  Ganem,  i.  197. 


tematized  that  a  regular  tariff  was  arranged  and  brought  into 
use  on  the  occasion  of  every  appointment.^  Those  who  thus 
were  put  to  great  expense  on  coming  into  office  felt  the  necessity 
of  recouping  themselves  by  whatever  means  lay  in  their  power.^ 
Hence  arose  not  merely  oppression  of  the  sultan's  subjects, 
both  Christian  and  Moslem,  but  also  a  partial  recovery  of  losses 
at  the  expense  of  the  sultan  himself.  His  servants  were  forced 
to  devote  to  personal  affairs  a  large  part  of  the  attention  that 
should  have  been  all  his,  and  to  curtail  by  various  devices  the 
contingent  which  they  furnished  for  his  mihtary  service.  When 
the  members  of  the  Ruling  Institution  began  to  prey  upon 
each  other,  the  grand  vizier,  on  behalf  of  the  sultan,  taking  the 
lead,  the  solidarity  of  the  institution  began  to  be  broken.  It 
may  be  true  that  in  the  West,  as  Montesquieu  said,  the  honor 
of  a  monarchy  was  not  inconsistent  with  the  sale  of  ofl&ce ;  ^  but 
in  the  Ottoman  Empire  it  opened  the  door  to  fatal  corruption. 

The  members  of  the  Ruling  Institution  had  not  always  had 
their  own  system  of  justice;  they  had  long  been  under  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  ordinary  Moslem  courts.  This  had  led  to  an 
essential  difficulty;  the  ordinary  courts  were  part  of  another 
institution  and  were  recruited  in  a  wholly  different  way;  their 
judges  had  risen  through  a  rival  system  of  education,  and  were 
men  of  letters  rather  than  men  of  war;  the  favored  kullar  of 
the  sultan  had,  therefore,  come  to  feel  averse  to  obeying  them.^ 
Accordingly,  Bayezid  II  had  ordered  that  the  members  of  his 
family  should  be  judged  by  their  own  officers.^  This  was  a 
radical  change;  for  it  brought  into  prominence  the  distinction 
between  the  two  institutions,  and  had  the  further  effect  of  setting 
off  the  kullar  from  all  the  rest  of  the  population  of  the  empire, 
and  of  constituting  them  almost  a  separate  nationahty.     Their 

1  D'Ohsson,  vii.  182,  202. 

2  Ricaut,  140;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  287. 
^  Montesquieu,  livre  v,  ch.  xix. 

^  Postel,  i.  126:  "  les  gents  de  la  court,  qui  ont  leurs  chefs  Aga  6*  Bassi  pour 
luges,"  etc. 

^  Spandugino,  214  S.,  relates  how  this  came  about,  and  says  (p.  218),  "No 
Cadi  can  have  power  and  authority  over  the  slaves  who  receive  pay  from  the 


position  became  one  greatly  to  be  desired.  The  Moslem-born 
population  came  to  feel  that  somewhere  there  was  a  great  in- 
justice. They  whose  ancestors  had  shed  their  blood  for  the  faith 
were,  in  the  lands  which  their  fathers  had  conquered,  denied 
admittance  to  the  class  which  not  only  filled  most  of  the  offices 
of  army  and  state  but  enjoyed  high  privileges.  Sons  of  the 
conquered  inhabitants,  infidel-born,  might  alone  become  nobles, 
paid  by  the  state  rather  than  contributing  to  its  expenses,  not 
subject  to  the  judges  trained  from  boyhood  in  the  Sacred  Law; 
while  their  own  Moslem  sons  were  rigidly  excluded  from  the 
honored  class,  were  obliged  to  bear  a  part  in  the  burdens  of  the 
state  with  small  hope  of  sharing  its  glory,  and  were  expected  to 
take  their  chances  before  the  same  courts  to  which  Christians 
and  Jews  were  brought  for  civil  and  criminal  cases.  The  very 
extent  of  the  privileges  of  the  kullar  made  toward  the  break-down 
of  the  system. 

Nobility  not  Hereditary 

The  privileges  of  the  sultan's  kullar  fell  short  of  those  of 
Western  nobihty  in  one  very  important  respect,  namely,  that 
they  could  not  normally  be  handed  on  to  the  descendants  and 
heirs  of  those  privileged.  This  exception  is  so  important  that 
various  Western  writers  have  affirmed  that  the  Turks  had  no 
nobles.^  As  the  word  is  used  in  this  treatise,  heredity  is  not 
regarded  as  of  the  essence  of  nobility;  the  latter  is  considered 
to  lie  in  the  possession  of  special  personal  privilege,  recognized 
in  the  structure  of  the  state. 

In  the  early  Ottoman  days,  several  of  the  high  offices  of  state 
became  the  appanages  of  particular  famihes.  The  family  of 
Kara  Khalil  Chendereli  held  the  office  of  grand  vizier  con- 
tinuously for  a  century,  and  furnished  an  occupant  of  the  office 
at  a  later  date.^  The  descendants  of  Michael  of  the  Pointed 
Beard  led  the  Akinjis  until  the  time  of  the  first  siege  of  Vienna.^ 

1  Zane,  407;  Robertson,  i.  249. 

2  Hammer,  Gcschichte,  i.  176,  684;  ii.  674. 

'  Ibid.  i.  96.  The  descendants  of  Michael  have  been  among  the  very  few 
families  who  were  constituted  landed  nobles  in  the  Ottoman  Empire.  Seven 
*'  endowments  of  the  Conquerors  "  still  exist,  one  of  which  benefits  his  line:  Heid- 
born,  314. 


The  family  of  Samsamat  Chaush  held  the  office  of  master  of 
ceremonies  for  generations.^  A  descendant  of  the  thirteenth- 
century  poet  Jelal  ad-din  Rumi  held  office  under  Suleiman.^ 
Some  writers  of  the  early  sixteenth  century  said  that,  whereas 
Osman  had  been  aided  in  winning  his  dominions  by  two  Greek 
renegades,  Michael  of  the  Pointed  Beard,  and  Malco,  and  by 
Aurami  or  Eurcasi,  a  Turk,  he  had  promised  that  he  would 
"  never  put  hand  in  their  blood  or  fail  to  give  them  a  magis- 
tracy." ^  The  promise  had  been  kept,  and  in  1537  one  of  the 
Michaloglou  was  Sanjak  in  Bosnia  and  one  of  the  Malcosoglou 
was  Sanjak  in  Greece.  The  other  family  was  then  extinct. 
It  is  said  that  these  were  considered  to  be  of  royal  blood,  and  that 
in  case  of  failure  in  the  Hne  of  Osman  the  succession  to  the  throne 
would  fall  to  them. 

Apart  from  these  few  exceptions,  the  principle  of  heredity  in 
office  had  been  excluded  from  the  Ottoman  system  by  the  time 
of  Suleiman.  The  Ottomans,  by  old  Turkish  rule  probably 
derived  from  the  Chinese,  knew  no  nobility  apart  from  office 
and  public  service.  An  exception  was  introduced  by  Islam  in 
the  case  of  Seids,  or  Emirs,  descendants  of  the  Prophet;  but 
this  modification  the  Ottomans  did  not  wholly  respect.^  Accord- 
ingly, Ottoman  nobility  became  official,^  personal,  and  without 
hereditary  quahty.  It  was,  in  fact,  the  reverse  of  hereditary, 
since  nobility  in  the  father  was  an  actual  hindrance  to  the  son  and 
to  all  his  descendants.  But  the  kullar  were  not  the  only  class 
in  the  Ottoman  Empire  which  enjoyed  official,  personal  nobihty. 
The  members  of  the  Moslem  Institution  were  also  exempt  from 

^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  i.  96. 

2  Ibid.  iii.  18. 

3  Spandugino,  13;  Ramberti,  below,  p.  242;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  273.  D. 
Barbarigo,  19,  names  eight  great  families  among  whom  the  succession  might  fall 
(he  says  that  some  thought  it  should  pass  through  the  female  line) :  in  Rumelia 
four,  —  Micali,  ErsecH,  Eurenesli,  Egiachiali;  in  Anatolia,  four,  —  Cheselamath, 
Diercauli,  Durcadurli,  Ramadanli,  formerly  called  Spendial.  Ricaut,  107,  says 
that  in  his  time  there  existed  an  "  ancient  compact  "  by  which,  in  default  of 
heirs  male  in  the  Ottoman  line,  the  empire  was  to  descend  to  the  Crimean  Tartars. 

*  Ricaut,  211. 

*  Ibid.  129:  "A  Turk  is  never  reverenced  but  for  his  Ofl&ce,  that  is  made  the 
sole  measure  and  rule  of  his  greatness  and  honour,  without  other  considerations 
of  Vertue  or  Nobility." 


taxation,  were  supported  out  of  public  revenues,  and  were  left 
in  enjoyment  of  their  own  government  as  a  part  of  their  general 
jurisdiction  in  the  empire.  They  had  an  advantage  over  the 
kullar  in  that  their  property  was  not  subject  to  confiscation. 
Their  position  will  be  discussed  later.' 

In  the  program  of  the  Ruling  Institution  the  policy  of  avoiding 
heredity  of  nobility  fitted  in  exactly  with  the  slave  system,  the 
educational  scheme,  and  the  army  arrangements;  for  the  knowl- 
edge that  every  man  was  considered  to  be  "  his  own  ancestry," 
and  that  increased  honor  and  privilege  depended  on  achievement 
alone,  made  every  ambitious  member  a  devoted  slave,  an  inde- 
fatigable learner,  and  a  dauntless  warrior.  The  reasons  for  this 
policy,  the  method  of  applying  it  by  advancement  through 
merit,  and  the  vivid  impression  which  it  made  on  thoughtful 
Western  observers  have  been  described  already;  ^  but  for  its 
observance  an  additional  reason  of  great  weight  may  be  men- 
tioned. Not  only  did  it  prevent  the  accumulation  of  property 
and  power  in  the  hands  of  the  members  of  one  family,  but  it 
allowed  no  influence  to  become  intrenched  in  the  offices  of  central 
and  local  government.  No  Beylerbey  or  Sanjak  Bey  could  hope 
to  rebel  successfully.  All  were  "  but  strangers  and  foreigners  in 
the  countries  they  ruled,"  ^  and  held  their  positions  by  the  most 
insecure  tenure.  The  Ottoman  Empire  was  not  destined  to  go  the 
way  of  that  of  Charlemagne  or  of  the  Seljuk  Turks.  Whatever 
decay  it  might  undergo,  it  could  not  break  up  into  small  inde- 
pendent states  under  officials  who  had  converted  their  governor- 
ships into  sovereignties,  so  long  as  its  two  great  institutions  were 
maintained  consistently.^ 

'  Below,  ch.  vii.  * 

2  Above,  ch.  iii,  under  heads  "  Other  Motives  for  Incorporating  Christians," 
"  Advancement  Based  on  Merit." 

'  Ricaut,  129. 

*  About  the  year  1800,  when  the  two  institutions,  and  particularly  the  Ruling 
Institution,  had  reached  an  extreme  state  of  decay,  and  before  new  institutions 
after  Western  models  had  yet  been  introduced,  the  Ottoman  Empire  was  to  come 
very  near  to  such  a  breaking-up.  It  seems  actually  to  have  been  saved  by  the  lin- 
gering of  the  tradition  against  heredity  in  olTue;  for,  though  Ufe-tcnure  of  purchased 
governorships  had  become  regular,  no  Pasha  except  the  North  African  corsairs 
of  the  seventeenth  century,  and  Ibrahim  in  Egypt  in  the  early  nineteenth  century, 


Against  this  policy  two  main  tendencies  conspired,  both  based 
on  "  human  nature,"  the  strife  of  favor  against  merit,  and  the 
desire  of  the  excluded  to  share  in  privilege.  The  first  was  liable 
to  disturb  the  order  of  promotion,  the  second  to  open  the  system 
to  the  sons  and  descendants  of  the  officials  and  to  other  IMoslems. 
No  one  but  Selim  the  Grim  was  fitted  to  maintain  the  policy 
rigidly  against  such  pressure.  Suleiman  yielded  a  Httle  on  the 
first  point,  in  such  matters  as  the  promotion  of  Ibrahim  and 
Rustem;  ^  and  the  second  began  in  his  time  to  gain  ground  at 
the  bottom,  by  the  admission  of  sons  of  Janissaries  to  the  ranks 
of  the  Ajem-oghlans.  Within  a  generation  after  his  death, 
however,  the  flood-gates  were  to  be  opened.^  The  body  of  Janis- 
saries and  the  body  of  Spahis  of  the  Porte  were  gradually  but 
swiftly  to  be  made  Moslem  and  so  cut  off  from  the  Ruling  In- 
stitution; the  age  at  which  the  pages  passed  out  of  the  palace 
was  to  be  postponed;  and  in  time  the  divided  Ruhng  Institution 
was  to  cease  to  be  the  admiration  of  the  West  and  was  to  become 
its  laughing-stock.  But  Suleiman  was  spared  the  sight  of  such 
a  decadence.  Near  the  end  of  his  reign,  after  Rustem  and 
Roxelana  had  ceased  to  disturb,  the  system  brought  to  the  top 
one  of  the  greatest  of  Ottoman  statesmen,  Mohammed  Sokolli. 
At  about  the  same  time  the  Moslem  Institution  also  raised  up 
a  great  legist,  Ebu  su'ud.^  These  two  upheld  the  institutions 
and  the  empire  at  the  height  of  their  glory  for  nearly  thirty  years, 
of  which  fifteen  lay  after  the  death  of  Suleiman. 

II.   Character  of  the  Sultan's  Court 

In  the  early  stages  of  all  monarchies  the  household  of  the 
prince  and  the  government  of  the  state  have  probably  been 
identical.*  After  the  period  of  estabHshment  has  come  to  an 
end  and  settled  institutions  have  been  organized,  the  household 
and  the  government  have  tended  to  draw  apart  into  separate  and 
distinct  systems  under  different  officials.      Which  of   the  two 

succeeded  in  founding  a  dynasty  upon  Ottoman  soil.     For  the  disorders  about 
1800,  see  Heidbom,  144. 

1  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  490-491,  quoting  Kochi  Bey. 

2  See  above,  p.  69,  note  3. 

2  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  278.  ^  Hammer,  Slaatsverwaltung,  6. 


has  become  of  the  greater  importance  in  the  eyes  of  the  sov- 
ereign and  in  influence  upon  the  policy  and  destiny  of  the 
nation  has  depended  on  circumstances,  and  particularly  on  the 
character  of  individual  monarchs.  While  such  a  state  has  been 
in  a  period  of  increase  of  power  and  influence,  the  government 
has  regularly  been  the  more  prominent:  men  of  practical  expe- 
rience in  affairs  and  in  the  field  have  overshadowed  the  palace 
servants.  When  decay  and  decline  have  set  in,  the  household, 
partly  by  way  of  cause  and  partly  by  way  of  effect,  has  risen  to 
supremacy:  individuals  of  more  or  less  secluded  hfe,  but  possess- 
ing opportunities  for  personal  intercourse  with  the  monarch,  — 
favorites,  body-servants,  women,  and  eunuchs,  —  have  made 
the  men  of  affairs  and  of  war  dependent  upon  them  for  place  and 
authority.  The  Ottoman  Empire  came  clearly  into  the  stage  of 
differentiation  between  household  and  government  after  the 
conquest  of  Constantinople  in  the  reign  of  Mohammed  II.  In 
the  time  of  Suleiman  the  empire  was  still  in  the  period  when 
government  was  greater  than  household;  but  clear  signs  were 
appearing  that  a  less  active  and  more  plastic  sovereign  would 
turn  the  scale. 

The  household  of  the  Ottoman  sultan  was  curiously  divided 
and  limited.  An  essential  difference  between  the  courts  of 
Christian  and  Moslem  monarchs  was  created  by  the  seclusion 
of  women  in  Mohammedan  society.  In  the  W^est,  w^omen 
appeared  with  the  men  of  the  court  not  only  on  occasions  of 
amusement  and  diversion,  but  also  in  public  parades  and  cere- 
monies of  less  and  greater  importance,  and  the  ladies  of  the  royal 
family  led  the  fashionable  society  of  the  land.  In  the  East,  on 
the  other  hand,  the  visible  court  and  retinue  of  the  monarch 
was  wholly  ungraced  by  the  presence  of  the  fair  sex;  all  the  great 
ceremonies  and  cavalcades  were  participated  in  by  men  alone. 
It  seems  to  be  a  fact  that,  before  the  middle  of  the  reign  of  Sul- 
eiman, no  woman  resided  in  the  entire  vast  palace  where  the 
sultan  spent  most  of  his  timc.^    The  women  of  his  family  were 

^  Postel,  i.  31,  says  that  Suleiman  occasionally  sent  for  one  of  his  women 
to  visit  him  in  the  principal  palace.  Nicolay,  62,  reports  that  about  1551  Roxe- 
lana  was  residing  within  the  palace  grounds.     By  15S5  the  principal  ladies  of  the 


elsewhere,  carefully  guarded  behind  walls  which  with  very  few 
exceptions  no  man  but  himself  might  pass.^  The  men  and  the 
women  who  were  associated  with  the  sultan  constituted  two 
separate  worlds,  between  which  the  only  bond  was  himself. 

The  sultan's  household  was  divided  in  another  way.  By  the 
maxims  of  despotic  government  it  is  forbidden  that  the  ruler 
should  associate  on  terms  of  intimate  friendship  with  those  who 
are  his  high  officials  of  state.  In  order  to  avoid  this  regulation 
and  yet  provide  his  master  with  intelligent  and  amusing  com- 
panionship, the  Nizam-al-mulk  advised  the  Seljuk  sultan  MeHk 
Shah  to  choose  as  boon  companions  a  band  of  courtiers  who 
would  be  allowed  to  have  no  share  whatever  in  the  conduct  of 
affairs.^  This  resource  was  hardly  open  to  the  Ottoman  sultans, 
first  because  the  dignity  and  independence  of  Moslem-born 
Ottoman  Turks  deprived  them  of  the  pHancy  which  is  expected 
from  courtiers,  and  second  because  the  sultan's  Christian-born 
slaves,  who  had  been  led  onward  by  ambition  ever  since  they 
had  entered  his  service,  and  at  the  end  of  their  education  were 
ready  to  become  men  of  affairs,  were  not  fitted  to  be  mere  courtiers. 
The  difficulty  became  greater  after  Mohammed  II,  filled  with 
the  Byzantine  notion  of  imperial  sacredness,  ordered  that  no 
one  should  sit  with  him  at  table.'  A  sultan  was  thus  practically 
forced  by  a  combination  of  principles  and  circumstances  to  spend 
his  leisure  hours  with  boys,  eunuchs,  and  women.^  The  only 
mature  men  with  whom  he  could  converse  freely  were  a  small 
and  select  group  of  religious  advisers,  astrologers,  and  physicians; 
all  the  other  men  of  his  household  met  him  only  formally  and  for 

harem  had  been  transferred  to  the  new  palace,  leaving  the  old  palace  to  the  function 
of  a  training-school  for  recruits.  These  steps  illustrate  the  rapid  increase  of  the 
importance  of  the  harem  in  the  Ottoman  scheme. 

^  Exceptions  were  made  in  case  of  the  old  Hojas,  or  teachers  of  the  young  princes, 
the  religious  advisers  of  the  queen  mother,  and  physicians.  See  Postel,  i.  35; 
Ricaut,  68;  D'Ohsson,  vii.  11;  Hammer,  Staalsverwaltung,  73. 

2  Siasset  Nameh,  121,  123,  163. 

3  "  Kanun  oi  the  Imperial  Table,"  printed  in  Hammer's  S taatsverf assung,  g8: 
"  It  is  not  my  Kamin  that  any  one  should  dine  with  my  Imperial  Majesty;  it 
might  be  some  one  not  of  Imperial  blood."  Suleiman  did  not  always  observe  this 
Kanun  (cf.  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  99). 

*  Erizzo,  138;  Morosini,  281. 


the  transaction  of  business.  So  great  limitations  on  his  com- 
panionship could  not  fail  to  influence  his  character,  and  in  the 
course  of  a  few  generations  to  tend  greatly  toward  the  predomi- 
nance of  household  over  government. 

To  confine  the  consideration  of  Suleiman's  court  to  his  imme- 
diate household  would  be  to  narrow  the  discussion  too  much. 
The  chief  ofTicers  of  government  formed  a  part  of  his  retinue  on 
all  ceremonial  occasions,  and  had  not  ceased  to  be  counted  as 
his  personal  followers.  In  fact,  all  the  members  of  the  Ruling 
Institution,  except  the  Ajem-oghlans  and  young  pages,  may  be 
regarded  as  belonging  to  the  sultan's  court  in  that  large  sense 
of  the  termi  which  includes  all  those  individuals  who  are  attached 
to  the  person  of  the  monarch  as  his  daily  associates,  his  coun- 
cillors, the  officers  and  members  of  his  household,  his  body-guard 
and  palace-guard,  and  his  retinue  on  ceremonial  occasions  and 
in  camp.  The  splendid  court  of  Suleiman  the  Magnificent  is 
worthy  of  separate  and  special  treatment  for  which  there  is  no 
room  here;  in  describing  it,  as  in  describing  his  army,  only  those 
aspects  which  are  of  a  governmental  nature  can  be  considered. 
The  topics  that  will  claim  attention  are  the  subdivisions  of  his 
household  and  the  main  features  of  its  organization,  the  impor- 
tance given  to  personal  and  public  ceremony,  the  splendor  of  the 
court,  and  the  influence  of  the  court  on  the  destiny  of  the  empire. 

Organization  of  the  Household  ^ 

The  sultan's  household  may  be  considered  in  three  principal 
subdivisions,  each  of  them  composed  of  a  number  of  parts:  the 
outside  service  of  the  palace,  the  inside  service  of  the  palace, 
and  the  harem.  The  outside  service  was  composed  of  men 
and  Ajem-oghlans,  the  inside  service  of  white  eunuchs  and  pages, 
the  harem  of  black  eunuchs  and  women.  The  first  two  sub- 
divisions were,  in  time  of  peace,  in  attendance  at  the  principal 
palace  which  had  been  built  by  Mohammed  II  on  the  site  of  the 

^  Extended  descriptions  of  the  household  are  found  in  D'Ohsson,  vii  and 
Hammer's  Slaalsverwultung.  Lane-Poole,  in  his  Story  of  Turkey,  ch.  xiv,  gives  a 
good,  clear  summary  of  D'Ohsson.  References  to  these  authorities  are  here  omitted 
except  in  a  few  instances  of  special  interest. 


acropolis  of  ancient  Byzantium.  The  grounds  of  this  palace 
were  extensive:  within  the  first  gate  was  a  large  open  space 
used  on  state  occasions  as  a  parade  ground;  within  the  second 
gate  were  the  buildings  of  the  palace  proper,  a  beautiful  garden, 
and  an  exercise  ground  for  the  pages.  The  members  of  the 
outside  service,  except  the  gardeners,  did  not  ordinarily  pass 
beyond  the  second  gate  of  this  palace.  The  harem  was  per- 
manently located  some  distance  away  in  the  center  of  the  city, 
in  the  first  palace  occupied  after  the  conquest,  known  in  the  six- 
teenth century  as  the  Old  Palace.^  In  time  of  war,  practically 
the  entire  outside  service,  and  the  principal  officers  and  personal 
attendants  from  the  inside  service,  accompanied  the  sultan. 
None  of  the  women  of  the  harem  were  taken  with  the  army,  as 
this  was  against  the  Ottoman  custom,  though  permitted  by  the 
Sacred  Law.^  In  excursions  during  time  of  peace  some  of  the 
ladies  might  accompany  their  lord.^  The  three  subdivisions  of 
the  household  will  be  considered  in  the  reverse  order. 

The  Harem 

The  harem  was  so  distinct  in  Suleiman's  time  from  the  rest 
of  his  household,  so  little  seen  and  known,  so  much  his  personal 
affair,  that  it  would  seem  scarcely  to  demand  attention  in  a  con- 
sideration of  his  court.  The  importance  of  its  officials  and 
personages  was  small  as  compared  wdth  later  times,  after  the 
harem  had  been  removed  to  the  principal  palace  and  the  sultans 
had  begun  to  spend  a  much  larger  portion  of  their  time  in  its 
society.  Yet  the  influence  of  two  of  its  ladies  upon  Suleiman 
was  so  great  as  to  give  them  a  place  in  history  and  a  relation  to 
the  destiny  of  the  nation.  Accordingly,  the  harem  cannot  be 
passed  over  without  mention.  Its  organization  has  already  been 
sketched  so  far  as  regards  the  recruiting,  conversion,  and  educa- 
tion of  the  women  ;^  its  groupings  and  principal  personages  re- 
main to  be  described. 

1  Hammer,  StaatsverwaUung,  71;  Menavino,  179.  The  Eski  Serai  of  the  six- 
teenth century  stood  where  the  Seraskierat,  or  War  OfiSce,  now  stands. 

2  D'Ohsson,  V.  52.  ^  Postel,  i.  32. 
4  See  above,  pp.  56,  57,  78,  79. 


The  guard  and  order  of  the  palace  of  the  harem  was  committed 
to  forty  or  more  black  eunuchs/  under  an  official  known  as  the 
Kizlar  Aghast,  or,  literally,  the  *'  general  of  the  girls."  This 
Agha  was  held  in  great  honor,  and  was  made  administrator  of 
many  religious  endowments  for  the  benefit  of  various  mosques, 
and  particularly  of  the  vakfs  of  the  Holy  Cities  of  Mecca  and 
Medina.  His  importance  in  Suleiman's  time  bears  no  compari- 
son with  what  it  became  later.  Other  black  eunuchs  held  official 
positions  in  the  service  of  the  principal  ladies,  and  had  the 
oversight  of  the  education  of  the  young  princes.^ 

The  greatest  lady  of  the  harem,  while  life  was  spared  to  her, 
was  the  sultan's  mother,  the  Sultana  Valideh.  Not  only  did 
she  receive  great  respect  and  deference  from  her  son,  but  she 
had  a  general  oversight  and  authority  over  all  his  women.  The 
next  lady  in  importance  was  the  mother  of  the  sultan's  first  son; 
and  after  her  came  the  mothers  of  other  sons.  Mothers  of  daugh- 
ters enjoyed  much  less  consideration.  Each  of  these  favored 
ladies  had  her  own  suite  of  apartments,  her  business  staff  under 
a  woman  known  as  her  Kiaya,  which  may  here  be  translated  as 
steward  or  housekeeper,  and  her  group  of  personal  and  domestic 
servants.  The  Kiaya  of  the  queen  mother  enjoyed  great  im- 
portance. The  group  of  slave  girls  who  were  the  sultan's  personal 
and  domestic  servants  when  he  visited  the  harem  were  also 
under  a  Kiaya  with  assistants.  Sons  of  the  sultan  lived  with 
their  mothers  during  their  tender  years.  They  were  carefully 
educated  in  letters  and  arms,  much  as  were  the  pages,  but  with 
greater  deference.'  At  a  suitable  age  they  were  sent  out,  with 
carefully  selected  little  courts,  to  the  governorship  of  provinces. 
Daughters  were  married  at  an  early  age  to  high  officials  of  the 
sultan.^  In  later  generations  infant  sons  who  might  be  born  to 
them  were  not  allowed  to  live,  lest  they  might  become  a  menace 
to  the  throne.     This  seems  not  to  have  been  the  case  in  the  time 

^  Junis  Bey  (below,  p.  269)  says  twenty,  a  number  scarcely  sufficient.    Twenty 
years  earlier  Menavino,  180,  speaks  of  about  forty. 
2  Ricaut,  67-68,  mentions  several  of  these. 
»  Postel,  i.  35. 
*  Ricaut,  73. 


of  Suleiman,  who  avoided  danger  by  excluding  them  carefully 
from  office.^ 

Information  about  Suleiman's  harem  and  family  comes 
guarded  with  explanations  of  the  difficulty  found  in  obtaining 
trustworthy  reports.  Some  facts  are  known,  and  probabilities 
exist  as  to  others.  Suleiman's  mother  lived  until  far  along  in 
his  reign.  The  mother  of  his  eldest  son,  Mustapha,  held,  accord- 
ing to  custom,  the  next  place  in  his  harem.  After  the  year  1534 
she  divided  her  time  between  the  palace  at  Magnesia,  where  her 
son  was  Sanjak  Bey,  and  the  harem  palace  in  Constantinople.^ 
Khurrem,  usually  called  Roxelana,  had  supplanted  her  in  favor 
at  some  previous  date,  and,  being  legal  wife  of  the  Sultan,  held  a 
position  superior  to  hers  in  some  respects.  Suleiman  seems  not 
to  have  visited  his  harem  very  often.'  Mihrmah,  his  daughter  by 
Roxelana,  who  became  the  wife  of  Rustem,  was  very  dear  to 

The  Inside  Service 

The  five  chambers  of  pages,  under  the  control  of  white  eunuchs, 
and  the  doorkeepers  supphed  the  inside  ser\'ice  of  the  principal 
palace.  The  head  of  this  service  was  the  Kapu  Aghast,  or  "  gen- 
eral of  the  gate,"  a  white  eunuch,  who  was  also  charged  with  the 
management  of  many  reUgious  endowments.  He  had  the  right 
to  speak  to  the  sultan  when  he  wished,^  and  hence  was  very 
highly  regarded.  The  Kapuji-bashi,  or  head  doorkeeper,  was 
also  a  white  eunuch,  who  had  charge  constantly  of  the  second 
gate  of  the  principal  palace,  with  a  company  of  twenty  or  more 
white  eunuchs  who  were  guards  under  him.^  The  pages  have 
already  received  attention  from  the  educational  point  of  view. 
Nearest  the  person  of  the  sultan  were  the  pages  of  the  Khas 
Oda,  or  Inner  Chamber,  of  whom  there  were  probably  thirty- 

*  Hammer  (Geschichte,  ii.  222)  says  that  the  custom  of  accomplishing  the  death 
of  sons  of  daughters  of  sultans  (by  neglecting  to  tie  the  navel  cord)  dates  from 
Mohammed  II;  but  no  contemporary  authority  appears  to  mention  such  a  custom. 
D'Ohsson,  vii.  93,  says  that  it  was  instituted  in  the  time  of  Achmet  I.  The  son  of 
a  sister  of  Selim  I  was  Beylerbey  of  Aleppo  about  1550  (  .Alberi,  Anonimo  of  1553, 

2  Ludovisi,  29;  Postel,  i.  31.     See  p.  141,  note  2.  *  Spandugino,  64. 

3  Postel,  i.  31.  ^  Menavino,  137. 


nine,  the  sultan  himself  being  reckoned  the  fortieth.^  A  number 
of  these  pages  later  bore  the  title  of  Agha,  but  they  seem  not  to 
have  done  so  in  Suleiman's  time.  Their  chief  ofiEicer  was  the 
Khas  Oda-hashi,  or  head  of  the  Inner  Chamber,  one  of  the  pages 
in  Suleiman's  day,  but  in  later  times  a  white  eunuch.  The 
pages  of  highest  rank  were  the  Silihdar,  who  outside  the  palace 
carried  the  sultan's  weapons,  the  Cliokadar,  who  carried  his  gar- 
ments, and  the  Sharabdar,  or  cup-bearer.^  The  others  took  care 
of  his  apartments  and  his  wardrobe,  and  brought  his  food  to 
him.  The  second  group  of  pages  constituted  the  Khazineh 
Odassi,  or  treasury,  under  a  well-paid  white  eunuch,  the  inside 
Khazinehdar-bashi.  These,  to  the  number  of  sixty  or  seventy, 
cared  for  all  the  treasures  in  the  sultan's  palace,  made  all  pay- 
ments, and  kept  all  accounts.^  Another  Khazinehdar-bashi 
took  care  of  all  the  financial  affairs  of  the  inside  service  which 
needed  attention  outside  the  palace  walls.  The  Kiler  Odassi,  or 
pantry,  under  a  white  eunuch  called  the  Kilerji-bashi,  cared  for 
the  bread,  pastry,  and  game  of  the  sultan;  their  chief  controlled 
also  the  kitchen  service  of  the  palace.  The  pages  of  this  chamber 
seem  not  yet  to  have  finished  their  education.'*  They,  together 
with  the  pages  of  the  Inner  Chamber,  rode  with  the  sultan 
whenever  he  left  the  palace.  The  remaining  two  chambers,  the 
Large  and  the  Small,  or  the  Old  and  the  New,  were  concerned 
wholly  with  the  education  of  the  pages.^    They  were  under  the 

'  D'Ohsson,  vii.  34.  Whether  this  number  was  fixed  in  Suleiman's  time  does 
not  appear  from  the  records.  Mohammed  II  had  32  officers  of  the  Khas  Oda 
(Hammer,  Staatsverfassiiiig,  96).  Mcnavino,  121-1 23,  names  three  special  officers, 
15  of  second  grade,  and  35  of  third  grade,  before  mentioning  the  treasury. 
Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey  (below,  pp.  243,  263)  name  6  principal  officers,  but  do 
not  distinguish  the  odalar  further.  Chesneau,  39,  saj's  that  25  of  the  pages  were 
Suleiman's  personal  scr%'ants,  and  that  5  served  him  specially.  Navagero,  45, 
speaks  of  25  or  30  in  the  Khas  Oda.     Ricaut,  52,  speaks  of  40. 

*  Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey,  as  above;  Postel,  iii.  4;  Navagero,  45. 
'  Navagero,  44. 

*  The  number  of  pages  in  the  Kilcr  Odassi  is  given  by  Menavino,  125,  as  25,  all 
between  20  and  22  years  of  age.  Navagero,  44,  says  that  they  numbered  300  or 
400;  but  this  is  incredible.  He  gives  no  numbers  for  the  purely  educational  odalar, 
and  evidently  has  counted  them  all  in  the  Kilcr  Odassi. 

'  Hammer  {Slaatsverd'altung,  30)  erroneously  says  that  the  pages  of  these  odalar 
attended  to  the  lowest  duties  of  the  palace,  and  were  recruited  from  three  palace 
schools  outside.     Navagero,  44,  disproves  this. 


general  direction  of  the  Ikinji-Kapu-oghlan,  or  eunuch  of  the 
second  gate.  ^  The  entire  personnel  of  the  inside  service  amounted 
to  from  six  to  eight  hundred  persons.  The  eunuch  officers 
maintained  severe  discipline,  exact  obedience,  and  perfect 
order  among  them  all.^  The  groups  of  eunuchs  who  had  charge 
of  the  colleges  of  pages  in  Pera  and  Adrianople  may  also  be 
reckoned  in  the  inside  service.  It  would  seem  that  the  ac- 
counts of  all  these  palaces  were  kept  as  one,  and  that  therefore 
the  chief  officers  of  the  principal  palace  must  have  supervised 
the  officers  of  the  others.^ 

The  Outside  Service 

The  members  of  the  household  who  were  not  held  within 
the  inner  regions  of  the  palace  or  near  the  person  of  the  sultan 
were  far  more  numerous.  Many  stood  in  close  relations  to  the 
members  of  the  inner  service,  either  being  under  their  authority 
or  having  regular  dealings  with  them.  All,  of  course,  served  the 
sultan,  either  directly  or  nearly  so,  through  the  mediation  of 
one  or  more  officers.  To  describe  at  length  their  subdivisions, 
duties,  and  officers  would  be  to  repeat  an  account  which  has  been 
given  often  by  others.  Only  a  general  sketch  will  be  attempted 
here,  by  way  of  distinguishing  the  various  groups  of  the  service. 
Beginning  with  those  in  closest  relations  to  the  sultan,  they 
were  the  learned  associates  of  the  master,  the  kitchen  service, 
the  body-guard,  the  palace-guards,  the  gardeners,  the  stable 
service,  the  tent-pitchers,  the  masters  of  the  hunt,  and  the 

The  learned  associates  of  the  sultan  belonged  chiefly  to  the 
corps  of  the  Ulema.  They  therefore  represented  the  Moslem 
Institution  near  the  person  of  the  monarch.  Chief  among  them 
was  the  sultan's  Hoja,  or  teacher,  a  confessor  or  adviser  in  relig- 
ious matters,  who  was  held  in  very  great  esteem  and  was  often 

^  An  additional  chamber,  the  Seferli  Odassi,  or  Chamber  of  Campaign,  was 
instituted  by  Murad  IV  to  attend  to  his  laundry  work  and  other  special  duties  in 
time  of  war.  The  membership  was  chosen  out  of  the  educational  odalar,  and  it 
ranked  next  after  the  Kiler  Odassi.    See  Hammer,  StaatsverwaUung,  28. 

2  Ricaut,  47. 

2  Ramberti,  below,  p.  255. 


advanced  to  high  judicial  office.  Next  came  two  Imams,  or 
preachers  to  the  sultan,  associated  with  whom  were  a  number  of 
muezzins,  or  chanters.  After  these  ranked  the  Ilekim-hashi, 
or  chief  physician,  who  had  ten  or  more  associates;  the  Munejim- 
bashi,  or  chief  astrologer,  whose  services  were  believed  to  have 
a  very  real  value;  and  the  Jerrah-bashi,  or  chief  surgeon,  with 
ten  or  more  helpers. 

The  kitchen  service  under  the  oversight  of  the  Kilerji-bashi 
comprised  bakers,  scullions,  cooks,  confectioners,  tasters,  and 
musicians,  each  to  the  number  of  from  fifty  to  one  hundred.^ 
Allied  to  these  were  the  companies  of  tailors,  shoemakers,  fur- 
riers, goldsmiths,  and  the  like,  who  were  employed  exclusively 
in  the  palace  service.-  Each  group  had  its  responsible  head  and 
was  subject  to  a  thorough  oversight,  since  even  such  remote 
affairs,  when  under  the  care  of  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution, 
were  regulated  and  ordered  with  great  precision.  A  number  of 
these  servants,  such  as  the  scullions,  wood-cutters,  and  water- 
carriers,  were  Ajem-oghlans. 

The  body-guards  were  three,  the  Muteferrika,  the  Solaks, 
and  the  Peiks.  The  Muteferrika,  or  Noble  Guard,  consisted 
of  from  one  to  two  hundred  of  the  choicest  graduates  from  the 
page  schools  and  of  sons  of  high  officials.'  Among  them,  in 
1575,  were  brothers  of  the  Voivodes  of  Wallachia  and  Moldavia. 
The  Muteferrika  followed  immediately  after  the  sultan  on  horse- 
back, and  in  time  of  battle  were  ready  to  defend  him  to  the  end. 
The  Solaks  were  veteran  Janissary  archers,  to  the  number  of 

1  Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey,  below,  pp.  245,  264. 

2  Mcnavino,  160  ff. 

3  Zinkeison,  iii.  181,  states  erroneously  on  the  authority  of  Trevisano,  125 
(meaning  p.  128),  that  these  were  all  Turks  and  of  noble  blood.  The  fact 
that  Menavino,  146,  calls  them  "  schiaui  "  is  sufficient  disproof.  Zinkcisen 
also  quotes  Spandugino,  114,  to  the  efToct  that  the  Muteferrika  were  all  lords, 
or  sons  of  princes  or  of  lords;  but  Spandugino,  62,  says  that  pages  pass  to  the 
office  of  Muteferrika  from  the  highest  four  oftices  at  least.  Trevisano,  127,  says, 
"  Li  quali  sono  giovani  nati  Turchi,  e  figliuoli  d'uotnini  di  aulorild  "  (italics 
not  in  original);  but  "  men  of  authority  "  were  practically  all  renegades.  Moro, 
341,  calls  them,  in  1590,  sons  of  the  principal  Turks.  The  fact  seems  to  be  that  most 
of  the  Muteferrika  were  Ottomans  of  the  second  generation  (/.  e.,  sons  of  renegades) 
and  that  the  rest  were  regarded  as  ennobled  by  passage  through  the  high  offices 
of  the  Khas  Oda. 


about  one  hundred  and  fifty,  who  marched  on  foot  beside  the 
sultan  wherever  he  went,  with  bows  and  arrows  ready  for  instant 
use.  The  Peiks  were  a  picturesque  company  of  halberdiers  of 
about  one  hundred  men,^  which  had  been  taken  over,  arms, 
costumes,  and  all,  from  the  Byzantine  emperors.  They  ran 
in  front  of  the  sultan  when  he  rode,  and  were  always  ready  to  be 
sent  on  missions. 

The  palace-guards  were  the  Kapujis,  the  Chaushes,  and  the 
Bostanjis.  The  Kapujis,  or  gatekeepers,  were  Ajem-oghlans 
who,  to  the  number  of  three  or  four  hundred,^  watched  the 
outside  gates  of  the  principal  palace  and  of  the  palace  of  the 
harem.  Like  all  the  other  guards,  they  accompanied  the  sultan 
to  war,  where  they  were  the  guards  of  his  tent.  The  Chaushes, 
who  numbered  about  one  hundred,^  were  ushers  who  acted  as 
marshals  on  the  days  of  Divan  and  of  state  ceremony,  and 
who  in  time  of  war  dressed  the  ranks  of  the  troops.^  They  also 
acted  as  messengers  of  state  within  the  empire.  When  a  distant 
officer  had  been  condemned  to  death,  a  Chaush  was  sent  to  exe- 
cute the  sentence  and  bring  back  the  offender's  head.^  Since 
among  the  Chaushes  there  were  many  renegades  who  knew 
various  European  languages,  they  were  useful  as  interpreters 
and  were  sometimes  sent  as  envoys  on  important  missions.^ 
The  Bostanjis,  or  gardeners,  were  Ajem-oghlans,  and  as  such 
have  been  mentioned  already.  To  the  number  of  about  four 
hundred,^  they  cared  for  the  garden  and  grounds  of  the  principal 
palace,  and  rowed  the  sultan's  caiques  when  he  wished  to  enjoy 
the  matchless  scenery  of  the  Bosphorus.  Their  chief,  the 
Bostanji-hashi,  who  had  risen  from  their  ranks,  seems  to  have 

1  Menavino,  155  (he  says  they  were  Persians);  Nicolay,  98;  Ramberti,  below, 
p.  251. 

2  Spandugino,  116,  gives  the  number  300,  and  says  that  they  became  Janissa- 
ries. Menavino,  140,  mentions  500.  Ramberti  (pp.  246,  253)  mentions  250 
at  the  principal  palace  and  100  at  the  palace  of  the  harem;  the  latter  he  calls 

^  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  265. 

*  Spandugino,  125. 

6  Postel,  iii.  9. 

^  Ricaut,  373.     In  his  time  they  numbered  500  or  600. 

^  Junis  Bey,  263.     Ramberti,  245,  speaks  of  35,  which  is  clearly  too  few. 


been  the  only  adult  man  besides  the  sultan  who  resided  within 
the  inner  regions  of  the  palace.'  His  general  charge  over  all 
the  sultan's  gardens,  wherever  they  might  be,  included  oversight 
of  the  banks  and  shores  of  the  Bosphorus,  the  Sea  of  Marmora, 
and  the  Dardanelles.^  This  gave  him  great  power,  and  his  favor 
was  much  courted. 

The  stable  service  was  exceedingly  important  in  a  nation  which 
relied  so  much  upon  cavalry,  and  which  was  still  under  the 
influence  of  the  tradition  of  the  steppe  lands.  The  sultan  for 
his  own  use  kept  a  stable  of  two  hundred  horses  tended  by  a 
hundred  men,  and  for  the  use  of  his  retinue  four  thousand  horses 
tended  by  two  thousand  men.'  Besides  these,  a  thousand  or 
more  Bulgarian  Christians  known  as  Voinaks  tended  herds  of 
horses  on  the  great  domanial  pastures.*  All  these  followed 
the  army  to  war  as  grooms.  They  were  under  the  control  of  a 
very  great  official,  the  Emir-al-Akhor,^  or  grand  equerry,  who, 
with  the  second  equerry,  also  had  oversight  of  the  numerous 
saddlers,  camel-drivers,  and  muleteers  of  the  imperial  service, 
and  control  of  all  the  domanial  pastures  and  forests  of  the  em- 

The  head  gardener,  the  head  gatekeeper,  the  grand  equerry, 
the  second  equerry,  and  the  Mir-Alem,''  or  standard-bearer, 
constituted  the  special  group  of  officers  known  as  the  Rekiah- 
Aghalari,  or  "  generals  of  the  [imperial]  stirrup."  The  Mir- 
Alem  had  charge  of  the  imperial  standards  and  the  six  horsetails 
which  were  borne  before  the  sultan.  He  distributed  standards 
and  horsetails  to  Beylerbeys  and  Sanjak  Beys,  who  thus  in  a  way 

*  Postel,  iii.  11. 

2  Menavino,  129.  In  D'Ohsson's  time  (vii.  15)  this  ofBcial  was  also  the  jailer 
and  presiding  executioner  of  the  palace,  inspector  of  the  water  supply  and  forests 
near  the  capital,  and  overseer  of  hunting  and  fishing  and  of  the  trade  in  wine  and 
lime.  How  many  of  these  functions  he  exercised  under  Suleiman  seems  not  to 
have  been  recorded.  In  Spandugino's  time  (p.  n8)  the  chief  Kapuji  was  presiding 

*  Rambcrti,  251;  Junis  Bey,  268. 

*  Menavino,  150.    They  were  not  ^!<//dr.    Cf.  the  Z(i;«og;7<T,  below,  pp.  252,  268. 
^  Shortened  in  use  to  Afiri-akhor,  Imnikhor,  Imbrahor,  Imbroor,  Imror,  etc. 

*  D'Ohsson,  vii.  17;  Menavino,  148-150. 
^  A  short  form  of  Emir-Alem. 


received  investiture  at  his  hands. ^  As  a  consequence  he  ranked 
first  among  the  officers  of  the  household  as  related  to  the  govern- 
ment. He  also  had  superior  control  over  the  gatekeepers,  and 
he  commanded  the  military  music. 

The  tent-pitchers,  under  a  Mihter-bashi,  cared  for  the  sultan's 
tents  in  peace  and  war.  Similar  groups  were  the  Veznedars 
(who  weighed  the  money  received  by  the  sultan),  the  guards 
of  the  outside  treasury,  the  purchasing  agents  of  cloth  and  musUns 
for  the  palace,  and  the  guardians  of  presents. ^ 

The  masters  of  the  hunt  were  important  officials  in  the  time 
of  Suleiman,  who  practised  the  ancient  royal  custom  of  going 
with  great  state  and  numerous  attendants  to  hunt  over  a  large 
region.^  Heads  of  the  dog-keepers,  falconers,  vulturers,  gerfal- 
coners,  and  hawkers  held  honorable  position.  A  number  of  the 
pages  of  the  higher  odalar  had  subsidiary  duties  as  falconers;* 
Ibrahim  was  chief  falconer  at  the  time  of  his  promotion  to  the 
position  of  grand  vizier.  A  part  of  the  regular  army  aided  in 
the  hunts.  The  Janissaries  show  by  the  names  of  some  of  their 
chief  officers  that  their  corps  grew  in  part  out  of  the  hunting 
organization  of  the  early  sultans.^ 

The  intendants,  or  Umena,  had  charge  of  various  departments 
of  supply  and  administration.  They  were  the  Shehr-emini, 
or  intendant  of  imperial  buildings;  the  Zarabkhaneh-emini,  or 
intendant  of  mints  and  mines;  the  Mutbakh-emini,  or  intendant 
of  the  kitchen  and  pantry;  the  Arpa-emini,  or  intendant  of 
forage  for  the  stables  of  the  palace;  and  the  Masraf-shehriyari, 
or  substitute  for  the  intendant  of  the  kitchens. 

This  rapid  survey,  though  by  no  means  complete,  shows 
something  of  the  comphcated  organization,  the  numerous 
personnel,  and  the  various  functions  of  the  groups  of  the  imperial 

^  Menavino,  145. 

2  D'Ohsson,  vii.  21.  In  his  time  these  were  under  the  "  Chief  of  the  Black 
Eunuchs."     It  does  not  appear  who  controlled  them  under  Suleiman. 

*  Postel,  iii.  12;  Hammer,  Gesckichte,  iii.  44. 

^  Hammer,  Staatsverwaltung,  37. 

5  Spandugino,  127-128,  describes  the  hunting  organization  under  Bayezid  II. 
Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey  (below,  pp.  249,  266)  state  that  2700  or  900  Janissaries 
served  under  the  Scgban-bashi  and  Zagarji-bashi  in  the  care  of  the  dogs. 


household.  The  number  of  individuals  connected  with  it  may 
be  estimated  to  have  been  between  ten  and  fifteen  thousand, 
many  of  whom  were  not  the  sultan's  slaves,  but  his  servants 
and  employees  in  various  capacities.  All,  however,  except  the 
few  members  of  the  Ulema,  were  under  the  complete  control 
and  command  of  members  of  the  Ruling  Institution.  No 
confusion  resulted  from  such  great  complexity,  for  each  group 
of  servants  had  its  definite  duties,  and  knew  exactly  from  whom 
to  receive  orders  and  to  whom  to  report  accomplishment. 

It  is  clear  that  the  functions  of  many  of  the  officials  of  the 
household,  especially  those  of  the  head  gardener,  the  grand 
equerry,  and  the  standard-bearer,  intrenched  upon  the  province 
of  government.  The  chief  black  eunuch  and  the  chief  white 
eunuch  collected  and  administered  the  revenues  of  many  parcels 
of  land  which  were  devoted  to  special  purposes.  The  Umena 
were  so  clearly  recognized  as  exercising  governmental  functions 
that  they  were  regarded  as  chancellors,  —  an  exception,  made 
for  the  sake  of  convenience,  to  the  rule  of  separating  household 
and  governmental  officials.  It  resulted,  therefore,  that,  while 
order  was  maintained  with  comparative  ease  within  the  mech- 
anism of  the  household  and,  as  will  be  seen,  of  the  government, 
difficulty  and  confusion  accumulated  in  the  relations  of  the  Ruling 
Institution  to  the  rest  of  the  empire.  The  splendid  organization 
worked  admirably  down  a  certain  distance  from  the  top;  but, 
as  the  energy  of  the  single  will  became  mediated  by  many  offi- 
cials, and  as  the  multiplex  land-ownership  and  varied  population 
of  the  empire  was  approached,  disorder  to  the  extent  of  un worka- 
bility was  so  constantly  threatened  that  only  more  or  less  con- 
vulsive readjustments,  resorted  to  from  time  to  time,  enabled 
the  institutions  of  the  empire  to  remain  in  being. 

The  Ceremonies  of  the  Court 

The  Sacred  Law,  based  on  the  practice  of  Mohammed  and  the 
four  early  caliphs,  discouraged  display  of  every  sort;^  nor  did 
the  Seljuk  Turks  take  readily  to  the  magnificence  which  under 
Persian  influence  had  prevailed  at  the  court  of  the  Bagdad 

»  D'Ohsson,  iv.  98  ff. 


caliphate.^  So,  too,  the  early  Ottoman  sovereigns  appear  to 
have  maintained  simpHcity  of  Hfe  down  to  the  time  of  Murad  II. 
A  contemporary  observer  said:  "The  very  Magnates  and 
Princes  observe  such  simpUcity  in  all  things,  that  they  cannot 
be  distinguished  from  others.  I  saw  the  King  going  a  long  dis- 
tance from  his  palace  to  Church  accompanied  by  two  youths.  .  .  . 
I  saw  him  also  praying  in  Church,  not  in  a  chair  {cathedra) 
or  royal  throne,  but  seated  Hke  the  rest  on  a  rug  spread  on  the 
ground;  nor  was  there  about  him  any  ornament,  either  sus- 
pended or  exhibited  or  displayed.  He  used  no  singularity  in 
regard  to  his  garments  or  his  horse,  by  which  he  could  be  dis- 
tinguished from  others.  I  saw  him  at  the  funeral  of  his  mother, 
and  I  could  not  possibly  have  recognized  him,  had  he  not  been 
pointed  out  to  me."  ^ 

In  the  understanding  of  Mohammed  II,  however,  the  capture 
of  the  imperial  city  seems  to  have  included  the  appropriation 
of  imperial  forms  and  ceremonies;  for  no  small  number  of  his 
Kanuns  dealt  with  matters  of  rank  and  ceremony.^  By  the  time 
of  Suleiman  the  Kanuni  Teshrifat,  or  Law  of  Ceremonies,  had 
become  a  collection  of  considerable  magnitude.*  It  is  significant 
that  the  regulations  concerning  such  matters  as  the  color  and 
shape  and  material  of  robes  and  turbans,  the  order  of  precedence 
on  small  as  well  as  great  occasions,  and  the  observances  proper 
to  each  such  occasion  were  made  a  matter  of  law.  On  the  one 
hand,  a  body  of  practice  was  set  up  which,  though  not  distinctly 
forbidden  by  the  Sacred  Law,  was  contrary  to  its  essential  spirit. 
On  the  other  hand,  to  rules  of  court  etiquette,  which  in  the  West 
are  often  unwritten  and  certainly  have  not  similar  standing 
with  acts  of  legislation,  were  given  the  rank  and  authority  of 
imperial  laws.  The  Law  of  Ceremonies  stood  on  a  par  with 
the  Law  of  Subjects,  the  Law  of  Fiefs,  the  Law  of  Eg}pt,  and 
the  Law  of  Fines  and  Punishments.  In  fact,  this  law  was 
observed  even  more  carefully  than  the  others,  since  the  matters 
which  it  covered  usually  came  under  the  eye  of  the  sultan  himself. 
It  was  as  much  the  duty  of  an  officer  to  wear  the  proper  costume, 

^  Siasset  Nameh,  i6i.  *  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  88  ff. 

2  Tractatus,  ch.  ix.  *  Ibid.,  434  ff. 


and  to  appear  in  the  right  place  and  at  the  right  time  at  public 
ceremonies,  as  to  attend  to  the  business  connected  with  his 

All  the  classes  of  members  of  the  sultan's  household,  all  the 
high  officers  of  government,  and  all  the  separate  bodies  of  troops 
in  the  standing  army  were  clearly  distinguished  from  each  other 
by  costume  or  head-dress  or  by  both.  Each  group  and  every 
officer  in  each  group  had  his  exact  place  in  every  ceremonial 
assembly  and  his  exact  rank  in  every  procession.  Each  great 
official,  beginning  with  the  sultan,  had  his  title  for  use  in  public 
documents,  a  designation  which,  though  not  exactly  fixed, 
varied  little  from  time  to  time.^ 

Ceremonial  occasions  were  numerous  and  splendid.  All 
were  participated  in  by  representatives  from  each  division  of 
the  Ruling  Institution,  and  on  the  greatest  occasions  practically 
its  whole  membership  was  present.  The  ceremonies  may  be 
grouped  as  simple  occasions,  religious  festivals,  and  extraordinary 
ceremonies.  Among  the  simpler  ceremonial  occasions  were  the 
regular  meetings  of  the  Divan,  which  in  time  of  peace  took  place 
four  times  a  week,  on  Saturday,  Sunday,  Monday,  and  Tuesday. 
On  Fridays  the  sultan  rode  forth  to  mosque  in  magnificent  state.- 
On  other  days  some  of  the  officials  made  visits  of  state  to  their 
superiors.  Every  three  months  the  Janissaries  were  paid  with 
much  ceremony  in  the  parade-ground  between  the  first  and  second 
gates  of  the  palace.  For  the  sake  of  giving  an  impression  of 
wealth  and  magnificence,  such  occasions  were  frequently  chosen 
for  the  reception  of  ambassadors.' 

The  great  religious  festivals  of  Islam,  in  which  all  the  Moslems 
of  the  empire  participated,  were  celebrated  by  the  court  with 
great  pomp.  These  were  the  two  feasts  of  Bairam,  one  of  which 
comes  at  the  close  of  the  fast  of  the  month  of  Ramazan,  and  the 

*  The  statements  of  this  paragraph  are  based  upon  the  Kanuni  Teshrifat  as 
given  in  Hammer,  Slaatsverfassung,  434  ff.  See  Delia  Valle,  i.  45:  "  Tutti  gli  uffici, 
e  tutti  gli  ordini,  tanto  della  militia,  quanto  della  Corte,  e  d'ogni  altra  sorte  di 
persone,  hanno  qui  il  loro  habito  proprio,  and  in  particolare  al  portamento  della 
testa,  si  cognosce  ciascuno  che  cosa  e." 

^  Postel,  iii.  13;  Hummer,  Geschichle,ni.  18. 

'  Ricaut,  156. 


other  and  greater  seventy  days  later. ^  On  the  great  day  of 
Bairam  the  ceremony  of  kissing  the  hand  of  the  sultan  was 
performed  by  all  the  officials  of  the  household  and  government. 

The  principal  extraordinary  ceremonies  were  those  in  celebra- 
tion of  the  birth  of  sons  or  daughters  to  the  sultan,  of  the  cir- 
cumcision of  princes  and  the  marriage  of  princesses,  the  accession 
to  the  throne,  and  the  going  forth  of  the  sultan  to  war.  The 
greatest  of  all  Suleiman's  celebrations  was  probably  that  of  the 
circumcision  of  his  sons,  Mustapha,  Mohammed,  and  Selim,  in 
1530.  Twenty-one  successive  days  of  display,  feasting,  games, 
and  formal  presentation  of  gifts  contributed  to  the  unparalleled 
grandeur  of  the  occasion. ^ 

It  is  not  impossible  to  obtain  an  idea  of  the  appearance  of 
the  sultan's  court  and  retinue  at  this  time  of  the  empire's  greatest 
splendor.  One  observer,  often  quoted  already,  who  was  gifted 
with  superb  powers  of  expression,  has  left  a  clear  record.  Seer 
and  seen  alike  vanished  from  the  earth  more  than  three  centuries 
ago;  yet  through  the  keen  eyes  of  Ogier  Ghiselin  de  Busbecq 
the  world  has  ever  since  looked  upon  the  great  Suleiman  as  he  sat 
and  rode  in  state.  Busbecq,  ambassador  to  the  Ottoman  court 
from  Emperor  Charles  the  Fifth  and  his  brother  Ferdinand, 
describes  his  first  audience  with  Suleiman  in  camp  at  Amasia 
in  1555,  also  the  train  that  attended  the  sultan  as  he  went  forth 
from  Constantinople  to  war  against  his  son  Bayezid  in  1559, 
and  a  Bairam  ceremony  in  camp  near  Scutari  a  few  weeks  after 
the  latter  event.  Some  quotations  from  these  descriptions  will 
give  a  better  idea  of  Suleiman's  court  than  any  number  of 
statistics.     The  first  describes  the  audience  at  Amasia :  — 

"  The  Sultan  was  seated  on  a  very  low  ottoman,  not  more 
than  a  foot  from  the  ground,  which  was  covered  with  a  quantity 
of  costly  rugs  and  cushions  of  exquisite  workmanship;  near 
him  lay  his  bow  and  arrows.  .  .  . 

^  The  festival  of  the  Birth  of  the  Prophet  was  not  instituted  until  the  reign  of 
Murad  III  (Hammer,  Slaatsverfassung,  469).  The  sultan's  annual  visit  to  the 
relics  of  the  Prophet  also  became  a  great  ceremony. 

2  Hammer,  Gesckichte,  iii.  96-101.  Only  less  splendid  was  the  marriage  of 
Ibrahim  to  Suleiman's  sister  in  1524  {ibid.  38). 


"  On  entering  we  were  separately  conducted  into  the  royal 
presence  by  the  chamberlains,  who  grasped  our  arms.  This  has 
been  the  Turkish  fashion  of  admitting  people  to  the  Sovereign 
ever  since  a  Croat,  in  order  to  avenge  the  death  of  his  master, 
Marcus,  Despot  of  Servia,  asked  Amurath  for  an  audience,  and 
took  advantage  of  it  to  slay  him.  After  having  gone  through  a 
pretence  of  kissing  his  hand,  we  were  conducted  backwards  to 
the  wall  opposite  his  seat,  care  being  taken  that  we  should  never 
turn  our  backs  on  him.  .  .  . 

"  The  Sultan's  hall  was  crowded  with  people,  among  whom 
were  several  officers  of  high  rank.  Besides  these  there  were  all 
the  troopers  of  the  Imperial  guard,  Spahis,  Ghourebas,  Oulou- 
fedgis,  and  a  large  force  of  Janissaries.  .  .  .  Take  your  stand 
by  my  side,  and  look  at  the  sea  of  turbaned  heads,  each  wrapped 
in  twisted  folds  of  the  whitest  silk;  look  at  those  marvellously 
handsome  dresses  of  every  kind  and  every  colour;  time  would 
fail  me  to  tell  how  all  around  is  glittering  with  gold,  with  silver, 
with  purple,  with  silk,  and  with  velvet;  words  cannot  convey 
an  adequate  idea  of  that  strange  and  wondrous  sight:  it  was  the 
most  beautiful  spectacle  I  ever  saw. 

"  With  all  this  luxury  great  simplicity  and  economy  are 
combined;  every  man's  dress,  whatever  his  position  may  be, 
is  of  the  same  pattern;  no  fringes  or  useless  points  are  sewn  on, 
as  is  the  case  with  us,  appendages  which  cost  a  great  deal  of 
money,  and  are  worn  out  in  three  days.  In  Turkey  the  tailor's 
bill  for  a  silk  or  velvet  dress,  even  though  it  be  richly  embroidered, 
as  most  of  them  are,  is  only  a  ducat.  They  were  quite  as  much 
surprised  at  our  manner  of  dressing  as  we  were  at  theirs.  They 
use  long  robes  reaching  down  to  the  ankles,  which  have  a  stately 
effect  and  add  to  the  wearer's  height,  while  our  dress  is  so  short 
and  scanty  that  it  leaves  exposed  to  view  more  than  is  comely 
of  the  human  shape;  besides,  somehow  or  other,  our  fashion  of 
dress  seems  to  take  from  the  wearer's  height,  and  make  him  look 
shorter  than  he  really  is. 

"  I  was  greatly  struck  with  the  silence  and  order  that  prevailed 
in  this  great  crowd.  There  were  no  cries,  no  hum  of  voices,  the 
usual  accompaniments  of  a  motley  gathering,  neither  was  there 


any  jostling;  without  the  slightest  disturbance  each  man  took 
his  proper  place  according  to  his  rank.  The  Agas,  as  they  call 
their  chiefs,  were  seated,  to  wit,  generals,  colonels  (bimbaschi), 
and  captains  (soubaschi).  Men  of  a  lower  position  stood.  The 
most  interesting  sight  in  this  assembly  was  a  body  of  several 
thousand  Janissaries,  who  were  drawn  up  in  a  long  line  apart 
from  the  rest;  their  array  was  so  steady  and  motionless  that, 
being  at  a  little  distance,  it  was  some  time  before  I  could  make  up 
my  mind  as  to  whether  they  were  human  beings  or  statues;  at 
last  I  received  a  hint  to  salute  them,  and  saw  all  their  heads 
bending  at  the  same  moment  to  return  my  bow.^  On  leaving 
the  assembly  we  had  a  fresh  treat  in  the  sight  of  the  household 
cavalry  returning  to  their  quarters;  the  men  were  mounted  on 
splendid  horses,  excellently  groomed,  and  gorgeously  accoutred. 
And  so  we  left  the  royal  presence."  ^ 

On  the  second  occasion,  when  Suleiman  was  going  forth  to 
war,  Busbecq  obtained  a  place  at  a  window:  — 

"  From  this  I  had  the  pleasure  of  seeing  the  magnificent 
column  which  was  marching  out.  The  Ghourebas  and  Oulou- 
fedgis  rode  in  double,  and  the  Sihhdars  and  Spahis  in  single  fiJe. 
The  cavalry  of  the  Imperial  guard  consists  of  these  regiments, 
each  of  which  forms  a  distinct  body,  and  has  separate  quarters. 
They  are  believed  to  amount  to  about  6000  men,  more  or  less. 
Besides  these,  I  saw  a  large  force,  consisting  of  the  household 
slaves  belonging  to  the  sultan  himself,  the  Pashas,  and  the  other 
court  dignitaries.  The  spectacle  presented  by  a  Turkish  horse- 
man is  indeed  magnificent.  His  high-bred  steed  generally  comes 
from  Cappadocia  or  Syria,  and  its  trappings  and  saddle  sparkle 
with  gold  and  jewels  in  silver  settings.  The  rider  himself  is 
resplendent  in  a  dress  of  cloth  of  gold  or  silver,  or  else  of  silk  or 
velvet.  The  very  lowest  of  them  is  clothed  in  scarlet,  violet, 
or  blue  robes  of  the  finest  cloth.  Right  and  left  hang  two  hand- 
some cases,  one  of  which  holds  his  bow,  and  the  other  is  full  of 

^  Compare  Gritti,  27:  the  Janissaries  at  the  reception  of  ambassadors  "  stand 
in  such  quiet  and  order  as  for  war  that  it  is  a  marvellous  thing  and  not  to  be  believed 
by  those  who  have  not  seen  it  with  their  own  eyes." 

*  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  152  ff. 


painted  arrows.  Both  of  these  cases  are  curiously  wrouji^ht,  and 
come  from  Babylon/  as  does  also  the  targe,  which  is  fitted  to  the 
left  arm,  and  is  proof  only  against  arrows  or  the  blows  of  a  mace 
or  sword.  In  the  right  hand,  unless  he  prefers  to  keep  it  dis- 
engaged, is  a  light  spear,  which  is  generally  painted  green. 
Round  his  waist  is  girt  a  jewelled  scimitar,  while  a  mace  of  steel 
hangs  from  his  saddle-bow.  .  .  .  The  covering  they  wear  on 
the  head  is  made  of  the  whitest  and  lightest  cotton-cloth,  in 
the  middle  of  which  rises  a  fluted  peak  of  fine  purple  silk.  It  is  a 
favorite  fashion  to  ornament  this  head-dress  with  black  plumes. 
"  When  the  cavalry  had  ridden  past,  they  were  followed  by 
a  long  procession  of  Janissaries,  but  few  of  whom  carried  any 
arms  except  their  regular  weapon,  the  musket.  They  were 
dressed  in  uniforms  of  almost  the  same  shape  and  colour,  so 
that  you  might  recognize  them  to  be  the  slaves,  and  as  it  were 
the  household,  of  the  same  master.  Among  them  no  extraordi- 
nary or  startling  dress  was  to  be  seen,  and  nothing  slashed  or 
pierced.  They  say  their  clothes  wear  out  quite  fast  enough 
without  their  tearing  them  themselves.  There  is  only  one  thing 
in  which  they  are  extravagant,  viz.,  plumes,  head-dresses,  etc., 
and  the  veterans  who  formed  the  rear  guard  were  specially 
distinguished  by  ornaments  of  this  kind.  The  plumes  which 
they  insert  in  their  frontlets  might  well  be  mistaken  for  a  walking 
forest.^  Then  followed  on  horseback  their  captains  and  colonels, 
distinguished  by  the  badges  of  their  rank.  Last  of  all,  rode  their 
Aga  by  himself.  Then  succeeded  the  chief  dignitaries  of  the 
Court,  and  among  them  the  Pashas,  and  then  the  royal  body- 
guard, consisting  of  infantry,  who  wore  a  special  uniform  and 
carried  bows  ready  strung,  all  of  them  being  archers.^  Next 
came  the  Sultan's  grooms  leading  a  number  of  fine  horses  with 
handsome  trappings  for  their  master's  use.  He  was  mounted 
himself  on  a  noble  steed;    his  look  was  stern,  and  there  was  a 

^  A  name  for  Cairo,  used  much  from  the  time  of  the  crusades  onward. 

*  Nicolay,  88-89,  explains  that  the  wearing  of  ostrich  plumes,  attached  in 
a  tube  of  jeweled  gold  to  the  front  of  the  turban,  and  curving  over  the  head  and 
down  the  back,  was  a  highly-valued  privilege  accorded  only  to  such  Janissaries 
as  had  distinguished  themselves  in  action. 

'  The  iSolaks. 


frown  on  his  brow;  it  was  easy  to  see  that  his  anger  had  been 
aroused.  Behind  him  came  three  pages,  one  of  whom  carried 
a  flask  of  water,  another  a  cloak,  and  the  third  a  box.'^  These 
were  followed  by  some  eunuchs  of  the  bed-chamber,  and  the 
procession  was  closed  by  a  squadron  of  horse  about  two  hundred 
strong  [the  Muteferrika]."  ^ 

Busbecq    spent    three    months    in    Suleiman's    camp    near 
Scutari :  — 

"  I  should  have  returned  to  Constantinople  on  the  day  before 
the  Bairam,  had  I  not  been  detained  by  my  wish  to  see  that 
day's  ceremonies.  The  Turks  were  about  to  celebrate  the  rites 
of  the  festival  on  an  open  and  level  plain  before  the  tents  of 
Solyman;  and  I  could  hardly  hope  that  such  an  occasion  of 
seeing  them  would  ever  present  itself  again.  I  gave  my  servants 
orders  to  promise  a  soldier  some  money  and  so  get  me  a  place 
in  his  tent,  on  a  mound  which  commanded  a  good  view  of  Soly- 
man's  pavilions.  Thither  I  repaired  at  sunrise.  I  saw  assem- 
bled on  the  plain  a  mighty  multitude  of  turbaned  heads,  at- 
tentively following,  in  the  most  profound  silence,  the  words  of 
the  priest  who  was  leading  their  devotions.  They  kept  their 
ranks,  each  in  his  proper  position;  the  lines  of  troops  looked  like 
so  many  hedges  or  walls  parting  out  the  wide  plain,  on  which 
they  were  drawn  up.  According  to  its  rank  in  the  service  each 
corps  was  posted  nearer  to,  or  farther  from,  the  place  where  the 
Sultan  stood.  The  troops  were  dressed  in  brilliant  uniforms, 
their  head-dresses  rivalling  snow  in  whiteness.  The  scene  which 
met  my  eyes  was  charming,  the  different  colours  having  a  most 
pleasing  effect.  The  men  were  so  motionless  that  they  seemed 
rooted  to  the  ground  on  which  they  stood.  There  was  no  cough- 
ing, no  clearing  the  throat,  and  no  voice  to  be  heard,  and  no  one 
looked  behind  him  or  moved  his  head.  When  the  priest  pro- 
nounced the  name  of  Mahommet  all  alike  bowed  their  heads 
to  their  knees  at  the  same  moment,  and  when  he  uttered  the 
name  of  God  they  fell  on  their  faces  in  worship  and  kissed  the 
ground.  .  .  .     When  prayers  were  finished,   the  serried  ranks 

^  The  Sharabdar,  the  Chokadar,  and  the  SilHidar. 
^  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  283  ff. 


broke  up,  and  the  whole  plain  was  gradually  covered  with  their 
surging  masses.  Presently  the  Sultan's  servants  appeared 
bringing  their  master's  dinner,  when,  lo  and  behold!  the  Janis- 
saries laid  their  hands  on  the  dishes,  seized  their  contents  and 
devoured  them,  amid  much  merriment.  This  licence  is  allowed 
by  ancient  custom  as  part  of  that  day's  festivity,  and  the  Sul- 
tan's wants  are  otherwise  provided  for.  I  returned  to  Constanti- 
nople full  of  the  brilliant  spectacle,  which  I  had  thoroughly 
enjoyed."  ^ 

Influence  of  the  Court 

The  influence  of  the  Ottoman  court  may  be  looked  at  in  three 
ways,  —  as  alTecting  the  sultan,  the  Ruling  Institution,  and  the 
destiny  of  the  empire;  but  all  three  ultimately  reduce  to  the  last. 
The  sultan  was  influenced  by  his  personal  relationships  with  the 
different  individuals  or  groups  which  came  into  closest  contact 
with  him.  Reference  has  already  been  made  to  Roxelana. 
Undoubtedly  she  had  much  influence  over  her  imperial  husband, 
but  to  what  extent  she  pushed  him  toward  particular  decisions 
and  actions  cannot  be  known.  It  is  improbable  that  she  had 
anything  of  consequence  to  do  with  the  death  of  Ibrahim,  since 
the  favorite's  own  actions  had  brought  matters  to  such  a  pass 
that  he  was  a  menace  to  the  throne;  moreover,  her  influence 
in  public  affairs  seems  not  yet  to  have  become  great.  Some 
writers  of  that  date  do  not  mention  her  at  all,  though  she  had 
already  won  the  supreme  affection  of  Suleiman,  and  had,  so  to 
speak,  passed  round  the  superior  position  of  the  mother  of  the 
first-born  son  by  being  made  a  legal  wife.^    Seventeen  years 

^  Ihid.,  302  ff.  These  quotations  may  profitably  be  compared  with  those 
from  the  Tractaius  in  regard  to  the  simplicity  of  Murad  II  (above,  p.  134).  Not 
a  few  descriptions  of  court  and  camp  ceremonies  in  the  century  following  the 
accession  of  Suleiman  have  been  handed  down.  For  example:  Suleiman's  entry 
into  Belgrade  in  1532  (Marini  Sanuto,  Ivi.  870);  Suleiman's  entry  into  Aleppo, 
1548  (anonymous  report,  in  Alberi,  3d  series,  i.  224  ff.);  Suleiman's  reception  of 
Captain  Pinon  in  1544  (Maurand,  207-225);  Selim  IPs  reception  of  Dc  Xoailles  in 
1573  (t)u  Fresne-Canaye,  59-72"*;  Ahmed  I's  going  to  mosque,  1614  (Delia  \'alle, 
68-71);     Ahmed  I's  reception  of  the  Venetian  Bailo,  1615  (ibid.  98  ff.). 

*  Postel,  i.  31,  speaks  of  the  mother  of  Mustapha  as  having  superior  authority 
about  1537,  though  residing  much  at  Magnesia;  and  he  docs  not  speak  of  Roxelana. 
But  Ludovisi,  29,  shows  that  Roxelana  was  in  1534  the  wife  of  Suleiman,  and  that 


later  the  situation  was  clear:  Roxelana  had  triumphed  completely 
over  the  mother  of  Mustapha;  her  son-in-law  Rustem,  married 
to  Suleiman's  well-beloved  daughter  Mihrmah,  had  held  the 
supreme  office  of  grand  vizier  for  nine  years;  her  hump-backed 
son  Jehangir  was  Suleiman's  favorite  child.  Nevertheless, 
as  late  as  the  beginning  of  1553  Suleiman  seems  to  have  intended 
still  that  Mustapha  should  occupy  the  throne.^ 

Mustapha  became  a  victim  less  of  Roxelana  and  Rustem 
than  of  the  indeterminate  and  dangerous  condition  of  the  rules 
of  succession  to  the  throne.^  Had  primogeniture  been  the  estab- 
lished order,  Mustapha  need  only  have  been  on  his  guard  against 
poison;  he  would  have  lacked  motive  for  rebellion,  and  his  father 
would  not  have  been  in  fear  of  deposition.  Had  not  Moham- 
med II  established  the  terrible  Kanun  which  ordered  the  execu- 
tion of  the  brothers  of  a  sultan  at  his  accession,  Roxelana  need 
not  have  feared  for  the  lives  of  her  own  sons.  Had  not  the 
Janissaries  helped  Sehm  to  the  throne  ahead  of  time  and  against 
the  wishes  of  his  father,  their  favor  toward  Mustapha  would 
not  have  forced  a  crisis.  If  Suleiman  really  desired  Mustapha 
to  succeed  him,  he  made  a  great  mistake  in  sending  him  far  away 
to  the  governorship  of  Amasia.  Bayezid,  the  ablest  living  son 
of  Roxelana,  was  in  Karamania;  and  Selim,  the  least  promising 
of  Roxelana's  children,  but  apparently  her  favorite,  was  assigned 
to  the  governorship  at  Magnesia.  Selim  was  thus  removed 
from  the  capital  by  a  journey  of  only  five  or  six  days,  Bayezid 
by  a  somewhat  greater  distance,  and  Mustapha  by  a  journey  of 
twenty-six  days.*  Suleiman  may  have  meant  by  these  appoint- 
ments only  to  promote  his  sons  to  more  distant  governorships 
as  they  grew  in  experience  and  could  be  entrusted  with  greater 
responsibilities;  they,  on  the  other  hand,  could  hardly  fail  to 
suspect  that  he  had  different  intentions.  Without  further 
discussion,  suffice  it  to  say  that,  with  custom  and  law  as  it  was, 

the  mother  of  Mustapha  then  resided  with  her  son  at  Magnesia.  For  the  decisive 
quarrel  between  Roxelana  and  the  mother  of  Mustapha,  see  Navagero,  75. 

^  Navagero,  79. 

^  Described  above,  pp.  93-95. 

^  Navagero,  76-77. 


the  situation  was  untenable.  First  Mustapha,  and  later  Roxe- 
lana's  own  son  Bayezid,  became  the  victims  of  inexorable  cir- 
cumstances in  which  she  undoubtedly  played  some  part,  though 
exactly  what  it  was  cannot  be  known. ^  In  so  far  as  she  contrib- 
uted to  the  fatal  outcome,  she  hastened  the  fall  of  the  empire. 
If  ever  a  government  demanded  a  strong  man  to  keep  it  in  opera- 
tion, the  Ottoman  government  needed  one  to  maintain  its 
Ruling  Institution.  From  the  beginning  there  had  been  as  yet 
no  failure;  but  after  Suleiman  the  Magnificent,  the  Legislator, 
was  to  come  Selim  the  Sot,  the  Debauche! 

Nor  was  the  beloved  and  pious  Mihrmah  without  her  influence 
on  the  fate  of  the  empire,  if  it  be  true  that  she  urged  her  father 
on  to  the  great  expedition  against  Malta.^  His  reign  had  opened 
with  two  great  triumphs:  the  fortresses  that  had  defied  the 
great  Conqueror,  Belgrade  and  Rhodes,  had  fallen  before  his 
troops.  He  had  failed  before  Vienna,  it  is  true;  but  in  the 
thirty-five  succeeding  years  he  had  made  large  conquests,  he  had 
strengthened  his  power,  and  his  prestige  had  grown  steadily. 
Now,  near  the  close  of  his  life,  his  mailed  fist  was  broken  upon  a 
rocky  isle  in  the  Mediterranean.  What  but  the  confidence 
gained  by  that  successful  resistance  gathered  and  nerved  the 
Christian  fleet  that  won  the  day  at  Lepanto  ?  The  influence 
of  Roxelana  and  Mihrmah  foreshadowed  the  power  exerted 
in  later  reigns  by  far  inferior  and  far  worse  women. 

The  influence  of  Ibrahim,  for  whose  promotion  Suleiman 
violated  the  rules  of  advancement  in  the  government  service, 
and  of  Rustem,  for  whom  he  broke  the  rule  of  giving  no  high 
place  to  relatives  of  the  imperial  family,  has  been  discussed 
already.^  In  his  late  years  the  Sultan  came  greatly  under  the 
influence  of  the  Ulema,  who  had  readier  access  to  him  than  had 
any  other  outside  force,^  and  whose  power  over  him  has  been 
thought  by  some  to  have  been  unfavorable.      Just  what  ills  it 

*  The  unfortunate  Jehangir  also  was  thought  to  have  come  to  his  death  from 
shock  at  the  death  of  Mustapha  and  fear  of  a  similar  fate  for  himself.  See 
Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  178;  Navagero,  77.  But  see  Alberi,  Anonimo  of  1553, 
216,  for  another  and  more  credible  account. 

2  Hammer,  Gescliiclilc,  iii.  425.  '  See  above,  pp.  78,  120. 

*  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  331;  Halil  Ganem,  i.  199. 


brought  about  in  his  own  time,  however,  are  not  easily  to  be 

The  Ruling  Institution  was  affected  strongly  by  the  splendor 
and  luxury  of  the  court  of  Suleiman.  The  Sultan  had  so  enor- 
mous an  establishment,  and  was  so  fond  of  display  and  ceremony, 
that  a  similar  spirit  developed  in  all  his  kullar.  Each  officer 
of  position  became  inordinately  ambitious  to  have  a  large  house- 
hold, many  horses,  much  portable  wealth,  and  superb  equipment 
for  his  horses  and  servants  on  state  occasions  and  in  time  of 
war.  Just  as  Suleiman's  splendor  embarrassed  his  finances, 
so  that  he  was  willing  that  Rustem  should  require  payment  for 
office  from  newly-appointed  great  officials,  so  most  of  his  kullar, 
in  order  to  keep  up  display,  were  led  to  undignified  and  extor- 
tionate procedures.  In  the  time  of  Suleiman's  grandfather  the 
Ottomans  of  high  position  had  already  been  excessively  grasping. 
"  And  to  tell  the  truth,"  writes  Spandugino,  "  in  that  country 
they  are  more  eager  after  money  than  devils  after  souls.  And 
one  cannot  accomplish  anything  with  the  princes  of-  lords  except 
by  the  power  of  money.  In  general,  as  well  the  emperor  as  his 
princes  and  lords  have  mouths  only  for  eating,  for  if  you  go  to 
them  without  giving  them  some  present  you  will  accomplish 
nothing."  ^ 

That  eagerness  for  wealth  with  which  Spandugino  reproached 
the  Turks  became  only  worse  under  the  Magnificent  sultan's 
example.  The  members  of  the  Ruling  Institution  might  prey 
on  each  other  to  a  certain  extent  by  the  sale  of  offices;  but  the 
ultimate  evil  effect  fell  upon  the  subjects  outside.  They  in  the 
end  must  pay  for  all  the  luxury  and  splendor  of  the  great  court 
and  the  Httle  courts.  The  pressure  upon  them  tended  to  become 
worse  and  worse.  Lands  began  to  grow  less  productive  and  to 
pass  out  of  cultivation.  That  dead  blight  began  to  descend 
upon  agriculture  and  trade  which  persists  in  Turkey  to  the  present 
day.^   Yet  in  the  time  of  Suleiman  this  weakness  hardly  appeared. 

^  Spandugino,  185.  A  generation  earlier  still  La  Broquiere,  186,  said:  "No 
one  speaks  to  them  [the  pashas]  unless  he  brings  them  a  present,  as  well  as  one 
for  each  of  the  slaves  who  guard  their  gate." 

2  Spandugino,  145,  relates  how  in  his  time  the  peasants  were  eaten,  as  it  were, 
all  the  year  by  tithes,  compulsory  presents,  land-tax,  and  extortion.     The  earlier 


Although  his  best  two  sons  had  come  to  cruel  deaths,  although 
twenty  thousand  of  his  troops  had  lately  died  in  vain  at  Malta, 
he  went  forth  to  his  last  campaign  with  a  train  which  surpassed 
in  pomp  and  splendor  all  that  he  had  led  before.^ 

sixteenth-century  writers  seem  not  to  have  observed  that  the  sultan's  subjects  were 
especially  miserable.  Morosini  (1585),  272,  remarks  vigorously  u{)on  the  tyranny 
and  oppression  which  were  causing  depopulation  and  destroying  the  incentive  of 
the  farm-dwellers  to  produce  more  than  a  bare  sustenance.  Zane  (1595),  395, 
415,  writes  in  a  similar  vein,  (lerlach,  52  (quoted  in  Zinkeisen,  iii.  361),  found 
those  who  lived  at  a  distance  from  Constantinople  in  a  wretched  state  of  oppres- 
sion. Knolles  (ed.  1687,  p.  982),  writing  about  1603,  speaks  of  the  desolate  con- 
dition of  the  empire,  especially  in  those  regions  through  which  the  army  was 
accustomed  to  pass.  In  Ricaut's  time  (pp.  124,  145,  323)  agricultural  decline, 
accomjianicd  by  misery  and  depopulation,  was  apparent. 
^  Hammer,  Geschichk,  iii.  438. 




The  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution  has  now  been  considered  in  all 
but  the  last  of  its  aspects.  The  recruiting  of  its  members  from 
Christian  subjects  and  enemies,  their  conversion  to  Mohamme- 
danism, and  their  training  for  the  duties  of  war  and  government 
were  first  explained;  then  the  military  duties  and  organization 
of  the  sultan's  kullar,  their  privileged  and  noble  status,  and  their 
organization  and  activity  as  a  household  and  court  were  de- 
scribed. Of  the  seven  aspects  in  which  the  Ruling  Institution 
may  be  considered  only  one  remains,  that  of  government  in 
the  narrow  sense. 

With  certain  exceptions,  the  Ruling  Institution  constituted 
the  government  of  the  Ottoman  Empire.  According  to  the 
Sacred  Law,  the  rendering  of  justice  belonged  to  the  Moslem 
Institution,  and  many  internal  matters  were  left  to  be  regulated 
by  the  subject  nationalities,  which  were  organized  as  churches, 
and  by  the  foreign  colonies,  which  remained  under  their  own 
laws;  but  even  over  these  bodies  the  Ruling  Institution  held  the 
sword,  and  in  the  case  of  the  Moslem  Institution  it  held  the 
purse-strings  also.  Aside  from  such  exceptions,  it  attended  to 
all  the  functions  of  government  that  were  performed  within 
the  empire.  These,  however,  as  will  appear,  were  by  no  means 
so  numerous  and  extensive  as  are  the  activities  of  a  progressive 
twentieth-century  state. 

Some  of  the  functions  of  government  cared  for  by  the  Ruling 
Institution  have  already  been  described  in  the  previous  chapters. 
The  guidance  of  the  educational  system,  the  management  of 
the  army  of  the  empire,  the  conduct  of  local  government,  the 
oversight  of  the  household,  the  care  of  the  sultan's  gardens, 
pastures,  and  forests,  the  regulation  of  ceremonies  at  his  court, 
may  be  all  be  regarded  as  tasks  of  government.     To  some  of 



them  it  will  be  necessary  to  refer  again  briefly;  but  the  fact 
that  they  have  been  described  already  simplifies  the  problem 
of  setting  forth  the  plan  of  the  government  in  its  narrower 

Functions  of  the  Ottoman  Government 

All  governments  must  in  some  fashion  maintain  themselves 
in  place  and  in  operation;  they  must  obtain  means  to  meet 
expenses,  and  they  must  keep  some  kind  of  record  of  their  receipts 
and  expenditures  and  of  their  acts.  They  must  alter  and  expand 
the  unwritten  and  the  written  rules  under  which  they  operate, 
at  least  enough  to  keep  their  system  workable.  They  must 
protect  their  subjects  sufficiently  to  enable  them  to  earn  a  living 
and  the  means  to  meet  taxation.  They  must  meet  the  efforts 
of  other  governments  of  both  a  diplomatic  and  a  military  charac- 
ter. All  these  things  the  Ottoman  government  did  in  its  own 
way.  In  addition,  it  remained  in  the  sixteenth  century  strongly 
under  the  ancient  impulse  to  increase  its  bounds  and  the  number 
of  its  subjects,  particularly  at  the  expense  of  Christians  and 
Shiitcs  and  in  the  interest  of  Sunnite  Islam. 

The  Ottoman  government  did  not  include  among  its  functions 
the  building  and  maintenance  of  systems  of  roads,  bridges,  and 
ferries,  the  conduct  of  a  public  postal  service,  the  promotion 
of  agriculture,  industry,  and  commerce,  the  organization  of  a 
system  of  pubhc  and  universal  education,  the  adjustment  of 
taxation  and  customs  duties  in  the  interest  of  the  welfare  of  its 
subjects,  or  an  extension  of  the  activities  and  liberties  of  its 
subjects.  Benevolence  toward  the  common  people  had  hardly 
emerged  into  the  consciousness  of  any  sixteenth-century  state. 
Self-maintenance  in  power  by  the  most  available  means,  which 
were  usually  military  force;  increase  of  power,  authority,  and 
territory,  by  similar  means;  and,  incidentally,  an  assurance  of 
the  well-being  of  all  the  privileged  persons  who  were  connected 
with  the  government,  in  proportion  to  their  importance:  these 
were  the  chief  objects  aimed  at  by  the  governments  of  that  day, 
whether  in  the  West  or  in  the  East. 

Accordingly,  the  chief  energies  of  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institu- 
tion in  its  capacity  as  government  were  directed  toward  the 


smooth  running  of  the  machine.  For  this  object  the  best  and 
most  devoted  men  were  obtained  and  trained.  They,  with  as 
many  other  members  of  the  Ottoman  nationahty  as  possible, 
were  organized  into  a  magnificent  army,  which  first  of  all 
defended  and  maintained  the  government  against  enemies  at 
home  and  abroad,  and  then  increased  its  dominions  and  greatness 
by  victorious  campaigns  in  the  "  land  of  war."  The  rehgious 
motive  entered  strongly  here,  since  the  power  and  conquests 
of  the  Ottoman  nation  were  felt  to  be  the  power  and  conquests 
of  Islam.  The  welfare  and  contentment  of  the  members  of  the 
government,  beginning  with  the  sovereign,  were  assured  by  ex- 
clusive privileges,  elaborate  organization  of  personal  ser\dce, 
and  ceremonies  in  which  they  could  be  flattered  by  opportunities 
for  display  and  by  gradations  of  honor. 

There  remained  as  the  special  functions  of  government, 
first,  the  careful  elaboration  and  watchful  improvement  of  the 
regulations  under  which  the  Ruhng  Institution  and  the  state 
were  organized ;  second,  the  keeping  of  every  part  of  the  admin- 
istrative machinery  in  the  best  possible  order  and  condition; 
third,  the  acquisition  of  enough  money  and  means  to  carry  out 
the  purposes  of  the  government,  and  the  supplying  of  this  money 
and  means  in  suitable  quantity  at  the  time  and  place  needed 
and  to  the  proper  persons;  and,  fourth,  the  preparing  and  record- 
ing of  all  written  acts  necessary  to  the  transaction  of  the  business 
of  the  government.  A  fifth  function  was  the  adjustment  of 
disputes  between  subjects  of  the  empire  who  were  not  connected 
with  the  government;  this  was  attended  to  largely  by  another 
institution,  though  supported  and  executed  by  the  members 
of  the  government  itself.  The  first  of  these  functions,  that  of 
legislation,  was  cared  for  chiefly  by  the  sultan  himself;  the  second, 
of  administration,  was  controlled  by  his  viziers;  the  third,  of 
finance,  was  managed  by  the  Defterdars  through  twenty-five 
departments;  the  fourth,  of  chancery,  was  under  the  power  of 
the  Nishanjis;  the  fifth,  of  justice  between  the  subjects,  was, 
in  matters  controlled  by  the  Sacred  Law,  administered  by  the 
Ulema,  the  learned  men  of  the  Moslem  Institution,  under  the 
headship  of  the  Kaziaskers.     These  five  functions  were  by  no 


means  so  clearly  separated  as  were  the  groups  of  officials  con- 
cerned with  them.  A  logical  classification  of  duties  would  have 
necessitated  much  readjustment. 

The  striking  way  in  which  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution, 
when  regarded  as  a  government,  limited  its  operations  almost 
exclusively  to  its  own  afTairs  seems  to  have  resulted  from  its 
character  as  a  single  slave-family.  Although  its  essential  char- 
acter is  somewhat  obscured  by  the  facts  that  it  was  by  far  the 
largest  slave-family  in  the  empire,  that  it  had  ruhng  authority, 
and  that  some  of  its  members  exercised  general  governmental 
functions,  it  is  nevertheless  true  that  the  legislation  of  the  sultans 
and  of  Suleiman  himself  was  largely  directed  to  the  regulation 
of  the  institution  itself,  most  laws  of  wider  and  deeper  import 
being  included  in  the  almost  unchangeable  Sacred  Law.  The 
business  of  the  viziers  was  also  largely  that  of  the  institution, 
aside  from  the  fact  that  the  grand  vizier,  as  representative  of 
the  sultan,  headed  also  the  justice  of  the  empire.  The  imperial 
treasury,  again,  was  concerned,  in  the  first  place,  with  obtaining 
the  revenues  due  to  the  sultan,  such  of  them  as  did  not  come 
from  his  personal  rights  as  the  owner  of  domain  lands  being 
farmed  out,  so  that  the  government  did  not  even  here  touch 
the  people  directly.  In  the  second  place,  the  revenues  were 
paid  out  to  the  members  of  the  institution  as  soldiers,  servants, 
officials,  and  members  of  the  royal  family.  All  who  followed 
the  sultan  to  war  without  belonging  to  his  great  household 
provided  their  own  support.  Even  the  officers  of  local  govern- 
ment, though  appointed  from  his  kullar,  were  supported  by  the 
assignment  of  lands  which  they  administered  themselves  by 
means  of  the  Ruling  Institution.  The  sultan's  chancery  was 
similarly  confined  in  its  operations  to  the  preparation  and  regis- 
tration of  acts,  decrees,  commissions,  and  the  like,  most  of  which 
were  concerned  with  the  adjustment  and  operation  of  the  Ruling 
Institution.  Finally,  the  officers  of  the  army  and  the  govern- 
ment rendered  and  administered  justice  to  all  the  kullar,  besides 
deciding  many  law  cases  under  imperial  laws.  To  a  very  great 
extent,  then,  the  sultan's  government  was  that  of  a  large  slave- 
family,  which  secured  its  own  interests  and  managed  to  the  best 


advantage  its  own  affairs,  which  cared  Httle  for  the  welfare  of 
the  great  majority  of  the  people  of  the  empire,  and  which  had 
dealings  with  them  and  attended  to  their  affairs  only  when 
obliged  to  do  so  by  the  pursuit  of  its  own  aims. 

The  Sultan  as  Head  of  the  State  and  of  the 


Suleiman's  authority  rested  actually  and  immediately  upon 
the  military  might  which  he  controlled.  Psychologically,  it 
was  strongly  supported  by  the  ancient  Turkish  tradition  of 
absolute  obedience  to  the  ruler  who  led  and  fed  his  people,  and 
by  the  imdying  allegiance  of  the  population  of  wide  areas  to  the 
Caesar  of  New  Rome,  to  whose  seat  and  splendor  Suleiman 
had  succeeded.  Theoretically,  and,  if  a  modern  expression 
may  be  used,  constitutionally,  Suleiman's  power  was  that  of 
the  ancient  caliphs  of  Islam.  It  is  true  that  he  suffered  under 
one  apparently  complete  disqualification.  A  tradition  of  high 
order  asserted  that  the  Imams  must  be  of  the  Prophet's  tribe,  the 
Koreish ;  ^  but  by  an  extension  of  the  principle  of  agreement 
(ijma)  by  which  the  consensus  of  the  Islamic  doctors  of  the  law 
of  any  period  may  establish  an  interpretation  of  some  passage 
of  the  Sacred  Law,  Suleiman's  father,  after  the  acquisition  of 
the  Holy  Cities  and  the  resignation  of  the  last  Abbassid  caliph 
at  Cairo,  had  come  into  full  rights  as  caliph.  The  title  itself 
seems  to  have  been  known  by  none  of  the  Western  writers  of  the 
sixteenth  century,  nor  was  it  commonly  used  by  Suleiman  in 
public  documents. 

In  his  capacity  as  caliph,  Suleiman  was  head  of  the  Islamic 
state,  defender,  executor,  and  interpreter  of  the  Sacred  Law, 
and  defender  of  the  faith.  He  was  under  obligation  to  punish 
heretics  and  unsubmissive  infidels,  to  protect  true  believers, 
and  to  extend  the  area  of  his  divinely-appointed  rule.  To  him, 
after  Allah  and  the  Prophet,  was  due  the  absolute  obedience  of 
all  good  Moslems  within  his  dominions.     As  for  his  Christian  sub- 

^  D'Ohsson,  i.  268;  Heidbom,  112,  note  11.  Heidborn,  106-121,  treats  fully  the 
constitutional  position  of  the  sultan. 


jects,  they  also  regarded  him  as  their  lawful  sovereign,  given 
by  God  as  a  punishment  for  their  sins.  The  Sacred  Law  recog- 
nized no  power  of  legislation  in  the  head  of  the  state,  since  God 
through  Mohammed  had  legislated  once  for  all;  but  it  entrusted 
to  him  the  functions  of  administration  and  justice,  to  be  exercised 
to  the  fullest  possible  extent,  subject  always  to  the  prescriptions 
of  the  Law.  The  sultan  being  thus  supreme,  all  the  great  institu- 
tions of  the  Ottoman  Empire  are  to  be  thought  of,  not  as  built 
upward  from  a  basis  in  the  popular  will,  but  as  extended  down- 
ward from  the  divinely-appointed  sovereign  at  the  top.  To 
what  extent  the  Ruling  Institution  held  this  relationship  has 
been  indicated  already.  Central  and  local  government,  house- 
hold and  court,  standing,  feudal,  and  irregular  army,  all  depended 
upon  the  sultan.  The  Moslem  Institution  recognized  him  as 
its  head,  and  the  highest  officials  of  the  judiciary,  chosen  out  of 
its  membership,  were  appointed  by  him  and  removable  at  his 
will.'  So  also  the  Mufti,  the  chief  of  the  jurists,  was  appointed 
by  the  sultan.^  Even  the  ecclesiastical  organizations  of  the 
subject  Christians  and  Jews  were  likewise  extended  downward 
from  his  authority,  since  at  the  capture  of  Constantinople  the 
Conqueror  had  at  once  assumed  that  temporal  headship  of  the 
Christian  churches  which  had  been  held  by  the  Byzantine 
emperors.^  The  Greek  Patriarch  received  from  the  sultan 
appointment  and  investiture,  including  a  command  to  bishops, 
clergy,  and  people  of  his  faith  to  render  obedience  to  him  in 
matters  within  his  province;  the  other  Christian  groups  and  the 
Jews  were  likewise  dependent.  Finally,  the  privileges  enjoyed 
by  the  foreign  settlements  all  depended  upon  grants  from  the 
sultan  or  upon  treaties  made  with  him  in  his  sovereign  capacity.* 
As  for  the  officials  of  the  Ruling  Institution,  they  were  all  either 
directly  or  indirectly  the  sultan's  appointees.  Grand  vizier, 
viziers,  treasurers,  chancellor,  generals  of  the  inside  service, 
generals  of  the  outside  service  and  the  army,  Beylerheys  and 
Sanjak  Beys,  all  took  their  places  at  a  word  from  him,  and  at  a 
second  word  all  left  them  without  a  murmur. 

^  Hammer,  Geschkhte,  ii.  226.  '  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  1-3. 

*  D'Ohsson,  iv.  482  fi.  *  Ibid.  i.  557,  iii.  159,  etc. 


The  Sultan  as  Legislator 

So  far  as  legislation  was  possible  under  the  Ottoman  system, 
the  sole  power  to  issue  it  rested  in  the  sultan.  The  law  which 
demanded  obedience  within  the  Ottoman  Empire  was  fourfold: 
the  Sheri,  or  Sacred  Law  of  Islam;  the  Kanuns,  or  written 
decrees  of  the  sultans;  the  ^(/d,  or  estabhshed  custom;  and  the 
Urf,  or  sovereign  will  of  the  reigning  sultan.^  The  Sheri  was 
above  the  sultan  and  unchangeable  by  him;  the  Kanuns  and  the 
Adet  were  subordinate  to  the  Urf;  the  Urf,  when  expressed  and 
written,  became  Kanun  and  annulled  all  contradictory  Kanuns 
and  Adet. 

The  Sheri  was  the  whole  body  of  Islamic  law  as  accepted  by 
the  Ottoman  nation.  Its  long  history  cannot  be  detailed  here. 
Based  originally  on  the  Koran,  supplemented  by  traditions  of 
Mohammed's  legal  decisions  and  sa>ings,  and  by  the  decisions 
of  the  early  cahphs  and  the  interpretations  of  early  judges,^ 
it  was  first  formulated  by  Abu  Hanifa,  who  was  the  earhest  of 
the  four  great  orthodox  Moslem  doctors,  and  who  became  the 
accepted  teacher  of  all  Turkish  peoples.^  His  code  was  worked 
over  again  and  again  in  the  course  of  six  centuries,  as  new  deci- 
sions of  judges  and  interpretations  of  jurists  accumulated. 
Mohammed  II  found  it  necessary  to  have  a  new  code  prepared, 
a  task  for  which  he  chose  Khosrew  Pasha,  who,  singularly  enough, 
was  a  Christian  renegade,  seemingly  almost  the  only  one  who  rose 
high  in  the  Moslem  Institution.^  This  work,  finished  in  1470,* 
was  not  sufficient  in  the  days  of  Suleiman.  At  the  time  of  its 
preparation  the  Ottoman  Empire  had  been  still  wholly  within 
territory  that  had  remained  Christian  during  all  the  early  brilliant 
period  of  Islam ;  but  since  then  the  sultans  had  conquered  three 
seats  of  the  later  cahphate,  Damascus,  Bagdad,  and  Cairo,  and 

^  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  29.  This  use  of  the  word  Urf  in  Turkish  is  not 
the  same  as  that  of  its  Arabic  original  (see  Redhouse,  1294;  Youssouf  Fehmi,  237). 
Heidbom,  37  flf.,  discusses  the  sources  of  Ottoman  law,  giving  an  especially 
thorough  and  excellent  treatment  to  the  Sacred  Law. 

2  Macdonald,  71;  D'Ohsson,  i.  5  ff. 

'  Macdonald,  94,  115;   Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  4;  D'Ohsson,  i.  11  ff. 

*  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  9. 

^  D'Ohsson,  21. 


had  come  to  hold  the  protectorate  of  the  Holy  Cities,  where 
Mohammed  and  the  early  caliphs  had  ruled,  A  new  code  of 
law,  therefore,  better  adapted  to  the  more  widely  Moslem  char- 
acter which  the  empire  had  assumed,  was  demanded.  Suleiman 
charged  Sheik  Ibrahim  Halebi  (of  Aleppo)  with  the  task  of  pre- 
paring such  a  code;  and  the  result,  prepared  before  1549,  was 
the  MuUeka  ol-ebhar,  the  "  Confluence  of  the  Seas,"  which  re- 
mained the  foundation  of  Ottoman  law  until  the  reforms  of  the 
nineteenth  century. *  The  MuUeka  did  not,  however,  entirely 
replace  the  previous  codes  and  collections  oifetvas,  or  authorita- 
tive juristic  opinions,  which  continued  to  be  used  as  law  books  of 
less  weight. 

Early  in  the  process  of  formulation,  the  Sacred  Law  was 
separated  logically  into  two  great  divisions,  —  matters  of  faith 
and  morals,  and  practical  regulations,  groups  corresponding 
more  or  less  closely  to  the  Western  conceptions  of  theology  and 
law.  The  Moslems  never  made  an  actual  separation  of  these 
two  divisions  of  the  Sacred  Law;  both  in  education  and  in 
practice  they  regarded  them  as  parts  of  one  great  unity  of  ad\ice, 
precept,  and  command,  divinely  sanctioned  and  binding  upon 
all  true  believers.  The  practical  regulations,  or  the  Law  proper, 
went  by  the  Arabic  name  oijikh;  it  included  both  jurisprudence 
and  positive  law.^ 

A  group  of  Dutch  and  German  thinkers,  led  by  Dr.  Snouck 
Hurgronje,  has  been  so  strongly  impressed  by  the  jurisprudential 
side  of  the  Sheri  as  almost  to  deny  that  it  has  or  has  ever  had  an 
important  practical  side;  ^  but  a  careful  consideration  of  the  early 
history  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  suggests  that  their  view  in  its 
entirety  is  not  supported  by  the  facts.  Dr.  Goldziher  says: 
"  In  later  days,  historical  consideration  has  proved  that  only 

*  Hammer,  Staalsverfassung,  10;  D'Ohsson,  i.  22-24.  The  MuUeka  is  the 
basis  of  D'Ohsson's  excellent  work,  which  consists  of  a  translation  of  the  code 
with  its  comments,  to  which  he  has  added  observations  of  great  value  based  on 
historical  studies  and  on  his  own  investigations  during  many  years'  residence  in 
Turkey.  Heidborn,  44-69,  gives  a  detailed  account  of  the  development  of  the 
Sacred  Law.  He  also  (pp.  85-89)  describes  the  MuUeka  and  gives  a  table  of  its 

2  Heidborn,  40-41.     This  writer  uses  the  iormfykyh. 

^  Snouck  Hurgronje,  in  Revue  de  I'llislo'tre  des  Religions,  xxvii.  i  fif.,  74  ff. 


a  small  part  of  this  system,  connected  with  religious  and  family- 
life,  has  a  practical  effect  as  of  old,  while  in  many  parts  of  merely 
juristical  character  this  theological  law  is  entirely  put  aside  in 
actual  jurisdiction.  .  .  .  Snouck  Hurgronje  was  really  the  first 
who  set  forth  with  great  acuteness  and  sure  judgment  the  his- 
torical truth,  namely,  that  what  we  call  Muhammedan  law  is 
nothing  but  an  ideal  law,  a  theoretical  system;  in  a  word,  a 
learned  school-law,  which  reflects  the  thoughts  of  pious  theo- 
logians about  the  arrangement  of  Islamic  society,  whose  sphere  of 
influence  was  wiUingly  extended  by  pious  rulers  —  as  far  as 
possible  —  but  which  as  a  whole  could  hardly  ever  have  been 
the  real  practical  standard  of  public  life.  He  finds  there  rather 
a  doctrine  oj  duties  (Pflichtenlehre)  of  quite  an  ideal  and  theological 
character,  traced  out  by  generations  of  religious  scholars,  who 
wished  to  rule  life  by  the  scale  of  an  age  which  in  their  idea  was 
the  golden  period,  and  whose  traditions  they  wished  to  maintain, 
propagate,  and  develop.  Even  the  penalties  for  offenses  against 
religious  laws  are  often  nothing  else  but  ideal  claims  of  the  pious, 
dead  letters  conceived  in  studies  and  fostered  in  the  hearts  of 
God-fearing  scholars,  but  neglected  and  suppressed  in  Hfe  where 
other  rules  become  prevailing.  We  find  even  in  the  oldest 
literature  of  Islam  many  complaints  about  the  negligence  of  the 
religious  law  by  Ulema  in  their  struggle  against  the  practical 
judges,  that  is  to  say  against  the  executors  of  actual  law."  ^ 

The  last  sentence  quoted  contains  by  implication  a  genuine 
distinction  between  the  "  religious  law,"  which  may  be  called 
jurisprudence,  and  the  "  actual  law."  It  is  true  that  at  the 
present  time  "  actual  law  "  in  all  Mohammedan  lands  consists 
only  in  a  comparatively  small  proportion  of  precepts  drawn  from 
the  Sheri;  yet  a  body  of  precepts  which  today  requires  an  elab- 
orate system  of  courts  for  its  enforcement,  and  which  offers  a 
career  to  many  thousands  of  living  men  as  teachers,  advisers, 
and  judges,  can  hardly  be  adjudged  a  mere  "  doctrine  of  duties."  ^ 

1  Goldziher,  in  Zeilschrifl  fur  Vergleichende  Rechtswissenschaft,  viii.  406  ff.; 
Kohler,  ibid.  424  ff.;  JuynboU,  8,  310. 

^  In  Turkey  at  the  present  day  the  courts  of  the  Sacred  Law  (Sheriyek)  have  sole 
cognizance  of  the  following  classes  of  cases:    "  in  civil  law,  questions  concerning 


Undoubtedly  the  Sheri  has  suffered  a  gradual  shifting  of  emphasis 
from  its  practical  to  its  jurisprudential  side;  undoubtedly  it  has 
suffered  progressive  encroachment  upon  the  area  of  its  practical 
application,  beginning  in  very  early  times  and  leading  up  to  an 
invasion  in  force  in  the  nineteenth  century  by  the  principles, 
practice,  and  procedure  of  Western  Europe.  But  in  the  Ottoman 
Empire  of  the  sixteenth  century  the  Sheri  had  no  such  inferior 
place.  Even  then,  to  be  sure,  it  occupied  by  no  means  the  whole 
field  of  practical  law;  but  an  examination  of  the  quotations 
from  the  Venetian  reports  which  were  presented  in  an  earlier 
chapter  is  of  itself  sufficient  to  show  that  at  that  time  the  Sheri 
held  the  place  of  overwhelming  preeminence  in  legal  matters, 
in  point  of  usefulness  as  well  as  of  honor;  that  its  practical 
precepts  to  the  full  extent  of  their  formulated  scope  were  the 
private  law  of  the  land;  that  its  judges  were  of  equal  or  greater 
authority  and  repute  than  were  the  high  officers  of  government; 
that  the  latter  were  in  most  cases  obliged  to  execute  decisions 
of  the  former,  their  independent  jurisdiction  being  confined  to  a 
limited  class  of  persons,  and  to  the  decision  of  administrative 
cases  according  to  Kanuns  outside  the  field  of  the  Sacred  Law.^ 

marriage,  alimony,  education  of  children,  liberty,  slavery,  inheritance,  wills, 
absence,  and  disappearance;  in  criminal  law,  suits  concerning  retaliation,  the  price 
of  blood,  the  price  of  laming  a  limb,  the  price  of  causing  an  abortion,  damages 
for  disfigurements,  the  division  of  the  price  of  blood"  (Heidborn,  255).  The 
Nizamiyeh,  or  secular  courts,  have  sole  cognizance  of  commercial  and  penal  cases, 
and  a  few  other  groups.  All  other  causes  are  taken  before  the  Sheriyeh  courts  if  the 
parties  agree;  otherwise  before  the  Nizamiyeh  courts.  Thus  the  courts  of  the 
Sacred  Law  still  retain  a  great  deal  of  importance  in  Turkey. 

1  See,  in  particular,  above,  pp.  40,  41,  42.  See  also  Postel,  i.  116  ff.,  124  ff.; 
Ricaut,  200  flf.  Heidborn,  43,  comments  on  this  state  of  affairs,  and  explains 
the  comparatively  recent  further  legal  developments  in  Turkey  as  follows:  — 

"  Durant  de  longs  siecles  Ic  fykyh,  tout  petrifie  qu'il  etait,  put  suflire  aux 
besoins  de  la  society  islamique  et  son  manque  de  souplesse  fut  d'autant  moins 
ressenLi,  que  revolution  de  cette  soci^t^  elle-meme  a  6te  a  peu  pres  nulle.  As- 
soupie  dans  une  lethargic  profondc,  elle  semble  se  recucillir  de  son  immense  effort 
de  jeunesse  et  contempler  en  spcctatrice  indiflcrente  ou  dedaigneuse  les  progres 
realises,  depuis,  par  I'Occidcnt.  En  Turquie  seulement,  a  mesure  que  se  resser- 
raient  ses  liens  avec  I'Europe,  fut  comprise  I'imperieuse  necessit6  de  sortir  de  cet 
isolcment  et  d'emprunter  a  la  culture  occidentale  ccrtaines  m6thodes  susceptibles  de 
rajcunir  le  corps  vicUi  de  I'empire.  Par  suite  de  cette  orientation  recentc,  le  fykyh  a 
subi,  en  Turquie,  d'importantcs  abrogations  de  fait  sinon  de  droit,  qui  atteignent 


The  Sacred  Law  reached  out  far  beyond  the  conception  of  law 
in  the  West.  It  was  originally  supposed  to  be  sufficient  for  the 
entire  government  of  the  Islamic  state  (of  which  there  was 
believed  to  be  but  one  upon  the  earth)/  as  well  as  for  the  minute 
regulation  of  the  social,  ethical,  and  religious  life  of  all  its  mem- 
bers.2  From  two  circumstances,  however,  it  rapidly  became 
inadequate  as  a  political  constitution:  first,  from  the  expansion 
of  the  original  simple  Islamic  society  into  a  great  world-power, 
with  interests  and  relationships  far  more  complex  than  had  been 
dreamed  of  by  the  founders;  and,  second,  from  the  fact  that  the 
Law,  believed  to  be  of  divine  origin,^  was  proclaimed  unchange- 
able by  its  own  provisions,  and  hence  could  not,  except  with 
extreme  difficulty,  be  adapted  to  new  responsibilities  and  times. 
Judges  and  jurists  labored  manfully  to  provide  elasticity  by 
interpretation,  but  the  task  was  too  great  to  be  completely 
successful.  It  became  necessary,  therefore,  for  princes  to 
supplement  the  Sacred  Law  by  decrees  of  their  own,  a  course 
in  which  they  could  not  transgress  the  positive  commands  of  the 
Sacred  Law.  But  even  within  the  Law  itself  the  jurists  had 
allowed  them  considerable  latitude,  by  classifying  its  provisions 
under  different  heads  as  of  various  degrees  of  obligation:  some 
acts  were  forbidden,  some  were  advised  against,  some  were 
considered  indifferent,  some  were  recommended,  and  some  were 
rigidly  prescribed.^  Princes  were  compelled  to  keep  hands  oflf 
all  matters  that  were  forbidden  or  prescribed;  but  in  the  wide 
intervening  field  there  was  much  that  they  might  do,  and  an 
even  larger  field  was  left  open  in  matters  that  were  not  touched 
at  all  by  the  Sacred  Law  because  they  had  lain  outside  the 
experience  of  the  fathers  of  Islam  or  had  developed  since  their 

cependant  plutot  le  domaine  du  droit  public  que  celui  du  droit  prive.  Celui-ci 
subsiste,  dans  une  large  mesure,  malgre  ses  imperfections  et  son  absence  de  plan  et 
de  clarte.  On  s'est  contente  de  combler  ses  lacunes  les  plus  apparentes  par  des 
lois  empruntees  a  la  legislation  occidentale,  sans  se  soucier  de  la  complete  disparate 
creee  par  la  reunion  d'elements  aussi  heterogenes." 

^  D'Ohsson,  i.  261,  v.  11. 

2  Macdonald,  66;  Hammer,  Staatsverjassung,  12. 

'  Heidborn,  69. 

*  Hammer,  Staatsverjassung,  14;  Heidborn,  71. 


time.  In  case  of  undoubted  transgression  of  the  Sacred  Law, 
the  Moslem  society,  led  by  the  Ulema,  was  considered  absolved 
from  allegiance  to  the  sovereign  and  justified  in  exercising  the 
right  of  revolution.'  The  Sheri  was  thus  a  written  constitution 
for  the  Ottoman  Empire,  not  subject  to  amendment,  but  capable 
of  some  sHght  modification  by  judicial  and  juristic  decision  and 
interpretation. 2  The  sultan  had  no  power  over  it  except  as 
guardian,  interpreter,  and  executor.  The  popular  consent 
which  allowed  him  to  remain  in  authority  did  not  recognize 
in  him  any  right  to  amend  or  abolish  any  part  of  the  Sacred 

The  Ottoman  sovereigns  at  first  issued  their  new  legislation 
as  firmans,  or  ordinances,'  but  in  the  course  of  time  they  adopted 
from  the  Greek  word  xavwv,  or  rule,  the  word  kanun,  which  they 
appHed  to  every  general  law.  This  Greek  word  as  applied  to 
law  thus  came  to  be  used  in  contrary  senses  in  the  East  and  the 
West.  To  the  canon  law  of  the  West  corresponded  the  Sheri, 
and  to  the  civil  or  rather  the  national  law  of  the  West,  the 
Kamins.  It  is  to  be  noted,  however,  that  the  Sheri  had  wider 
sway  in  Turkey  in  the  sixteenth  century  than  the  canon  law  ever 
had  in  the  West.  Not  only  did  it  deal  with  a  far  larger  field, 
but  its  judges  seem  sometimes  to  have  administered  the  Kanuns 
also;  they  had,  further,  the  support  of  the  national  government, 
whereas  the  rival  courts  of  the  great  officials  had  ordinarily  a 
very  limited  jurisdiction.  The  position  of  the  ecclesiastical 
courts  of  the  Christian  subjects  was  much  more  like  that  of 
similar  courts  in  the  West."* 

The  Kanuns  were  issued  in  accordance  with  a  general  formula 
of  the  Sacred  Law.  "  The  Imdm,'^  quotes  Von  Hammer,  "  has 
the  right  to  make  all  civil  and  pohtical  regulations  which  are 
demanded    by   prudence,    the    circumstances,    and    the   public 

'  Hammer,  Staalsverfassung,  32;   D'Ohsson,  i.  291. 

2  Ricaut,  202;  Stecn  de  Jehay,  13  ff. 

'  Hammer,  Staalsverfassung,  31. 

*  In  the  course  of  time  the  development  of  civil  courts  in  the  Ottoman  Empire 
has  relegated  the  former  judicial  system  to  the  position  of  ecclesiastical  courts  with 
jurisdiction  similar  to  that  of  Christian  church  courts  of  the  Middle  Ages.  See 
Macdonald,  113;  and  above,  p.  154,  note  2. 


welfare  of  the  administration  and  the  highest  executive  power."  ^ 
The  Kanuns  of  previous  sultans  were  not  binding  upon  a  reigning 
sultan,  except  so  far  as  he  chose  to  put  them  in  force;  ^  but  the 
necessity  of  preserving  a  continuous  administration  led  ordinarily 
to  the  carrying  over  to  a  new  reign  of  all  Kanuns  that  were  actu- 
ally in  use.  Reforms  or  readjustments  were  often  accomplished 
by  the  revival,  with  modifications,  of  old  Kanuns,  rather  than 
by  wholly  new  legislation.^ 

The  Kanuns  dealt  with  matters  of  military,  financial,  feudal, 
criminal,  and  police  law,  and  with  the  law  of  ceremonies.*  All 
these  were  also  covered  in  a  measure  by  the  Sacred  Law,  with 
two  exceptions,  —  the  feudal  law  and  the  law  of  ceremonies, 
which  had  to  do  with  matters  non-existent  in  the  early  Islamic 
state.5  Within  these  two  fields  the  sultans  had  a  free  hand; 
in  all  others  their  Kanuns  were  strictly  supplementary  and 

The  Kanuns  were  issued  separately  to  meet  special  circum- 
stances. A  number  of  them,  when  collected  according  to  subject- 
matter  or  under  the  name  of  the  sultan  who  issued  them,  con- 
stituted a  Kanun-nameh,  or  book  of  laws.  Each  department 
of  the  government  had  its  own  Kanun-nameh,  and  the  laws  of 
taxation  for  each  sanjak  were  collected  into  a  separate  group.^ 
It  is  incorrect  to  think  of  a  Kanun-nameh  of  Mohammed  II  or 
of  Suleiman  as  bearing  any  resemblance  to  the  codes  of  Theo- 
dosius  or  Justinian.  Not  in  magnitude,  scope,  character  of 
contents,  authorized  unification,  or  prevaiHng  authority  can  any 
comparison  be  made.  The  Kanun-nameh  of  Mohammed  II 
seems  from  its  opening  words  to  have  had  his  sanction  as  a 
collected  body:  "  This  is  the  Kanun  of  my  fathers  and  ancestors, 
according  to  which  my  successors  shall  act  from  generation  to 
generation."  ^  These  words  themselves  show,  however,  that  the 
contents  were  not  a  unified  body,  but  a  collection  of  Kanuns 

1  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  30.  ^  Ibid.  31. 

^  For  an  example  of  this  practice,  see  ibid.  343. 
*  Ibid.  2.  ^  Ibid.  29.  ^  Heidbom,  90. 

'  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  31;  in  pages  219-327  are  found  the  Kanun-namehs 
of  all  the  sanjaks. 
8  Ibid.  87-101. 


issued  at  different  times  by  former  sultans  as  well  as  by  the  one 
who  was  reigning;  and  an  examination  of  the  contents  bears  out 
the  statement.  Nor  does  the  collection  possess  completeness 
in  any  sense.  The  first  of  the  three  parts  deals  mainly  with  the 
relative  rank  of  officials,  the  second  with  a  miscellaneous  lot  of 
usages,  chiefly  ceremonial,  the  third  with  fines  for  some  serious 
offenses  and  with  the  salaries  of  some  great  officials.  The  whole 
code  is  brief  and  shows  great  economy  of  legislation. 

The  Legislation  of  Suleiman 

Suleiman's  laws  are  not  contained  in  a  single  Kanun-nameh. 
He  is  rightly  named  the  Legislator  by  comparison  with  preceding 
Ottoman  sultans,  who  were  men  of  the  sword  and  not  of  the  pen; 
who,  saying  little,  but  doing  much,  had  built  up  a  great  empire. 
With  the  empire,  institutions  which  started  from  small  begin- 
nings had  also  grown  great;  but,  resting  as  they  did  on  few  writ- 
ten laws  or  ordinances,  they  had  tended  to  reach  a  confused  and 
complicated  condition.  The  Ruling  Institution  itself,  gathered 
closely  about  the  sultans  and  constantly  amended  by  them, 
was  kept  in  excellent  order;  it  needed  no  Kanun-nameh,  and  as  a 
whole  never  had  one,  though  many  Kanuns  of  rank,  ceremony, 
salary,  and  inheritance  had  reference  to  it.  More  remote 
matters,  however,  could  not  have  so  much  attention.  By  the 
time  of  Suleiman's  accession,  for  example,  the  feudal  system,  and 
the  bearing  of  the  various  forms  of  taxation  and  land  tenure 
on  the  subject  population,  had  come  into  great  disorder;  criminal 
law  also  needed  further  development,  and  the  market  and  gild 
regulations  of  the  cities  of  the  empire  demanded  attention. 
Egyptian  affairs  were  likewise  in  wild  confusion.  Already 
disordered  under  the  last  Mameluke  sultans/  they  were  now,  by 
reason  of  the  many  deaths  and  confiscations  in  the  war  of  con- 
quest and  the  setting-up  of  a  new  governing  authority,  impera- 
tively demanding  settlement.  In  accordance  with  the  needs 
of  the  time,  therefore,  Suleiman  issued  a  large  number  of  Kanuns, 
dealing  especially  with  timars  or  fiefs,  rayahs  or  subjects,  cere- 

*  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  480. 


monies,  and  criminal  and  market  regulations,  and  comprising  a 
constitution  for  Egypt,  the  Kanun-nameh  Misr}  The  latter 
appears  to  be  the  only  body  of  Kanuns  which  the  Legislator 
published  as  a  whole,  and  which  formed  a  complete  system; 
issued  in  1532,2  it  was  probably  inspired  by  Ibrahim,  following 
up  his  visit  to  Egypt  in  1524.^  The  collection  of  the  great 
Mufti  Ehu  su'ud,  which  is  called  the  Kanun-nameh  of  Suleiman, 
contains  chiefly  his  ordinances  in  regard  to  the  land  tenure  and 
taxes  of  the  subject  Christians,  together  with  a  number  of  laws 
designed  to  regulate  the  feudal  system,  and  a  few  relating  to 
judges  and  legal  processes.*  Suleiman  was  great  as  a  legislator 
only  by  comparison  with  his  predecessors.  He  set  nothing  in 
final  order;  and  the  ground  had  to  be  gone  over  again  within 
fifty  years  after  his  death,  in  the  reign  of  Achmet  I.^  His  legisla- 
tion was  doubly  hindered :  first,  by  the  conservatism  of  his  people 
and  his  religion,  which  alike  believed  that  the  old  ways  were 
the  best,  and  which  made  radical  departures  practically  impos- 
sible; and,  second,  by  the  weakness  inherent  in  despotic  legisla- 
tion, in  which  the  distance  of  the  law-giver  from  the  subjects 
affected  makes  true  adaptation  to  circumstances  and  complete 
enforcement  impossible  of  attainment.  Because  of  the  first 
hindrance,  most  of  Suleiman's  laws  professed  an  attempt  to 
restore  a  former  better  state  of  affairs.     As  a  matter  of  fact, 

^  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung:  101-143,  the  Kanun-nameh  Misr;  143-162,  police 
and  market  laws  of  Suleiman;  187-211,  Kanuni  Rayah;  337-434,  Kammi  Timar. 
Hammer  does  not  make  it  clear  where  he  found  particular  Kanuns,  or  how  com- 
pletely he  has  presented  the  originals;  nor  has  he  attempted  to  distinguish  Kanuns 
of  Suleiman  from  those  of  earlier  and  later  sultans.  The  Kanuni  Rayah  was  not 
made  into  a  formal  Kanun-nameh  till  1614  {ibid.  211).     See  Heidborn,  91-92. 

2  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  142. 

3  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  39. 

*  A  translation  of  a  portion  of  the  table  of  contents  of  this  collection,  as  found  in 
the  manuscript  Fluegel  No.  1816,  in  the  Imperial  Library  at  Vienna,  is  given  in 
Appendix  iii,  below.  This  shows  by  comparison  with  the  headings  in  Hammer's 
Staatsverfassung,  396-424,  that  Hammer  has  there  translated  at  least  one-half 
of  the  manuscript,  though  he  appears  to  attribute  these  sections  to  the  Kanun- 
nameh  of  Achmet  I  (ibid.  384).  The  table  of  contents  of  the  latter  collection  of 
laws  is  very  different  (see  next  note). 

^  The  Kanun-nameh  of  Achmet  I,  issued  in  1619,  contained  collections  of 
(i)  feudal  laws;  (2)  laws  of  the  army,  the  navy,  the  outer  and  the  inner  service; 
(3)  laws  of  police,  finance,  and  fiefs.     See  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  pp.  xviii,  xix. 


they  probably  did  not  contain  much  more  than  a  statement  in 
black  and  white,  with  necessary  simplifications,  of  a  confused 
body  of  practice  that  had  grown  up  gradually,  formulated  in 
parts  by  the  ordinances  of  his  predecessors.  Because  of  the 
second  hindrance  to  his  legislation,  Suleiman  was  not  able  to  put 
into  satisfactory  and  enduring  order  matters  of  such  vital  interest 
to  the  people  as  the  feudal  and  financial  systems.  Conferring 
only  with  a  few  religious  men  and  a  limited  number  of  high 
officials,  aside  from  the  shut-in  members  of  his  inner  service, 
he  could  not  possibly  know  how  his  regulations  would  bear 
upon  the  holders  of  small  fiefs  and  the  Christian  tenants  and  tax- 
payers in  remote  parts  of  the  empire.  The  officials  who  formula- 
ted the  Kanuns  for  him  were  only  a  little  better  able  than  he 
to  judge  of  such  matters;  and  the  persons  chiefly  affected  by 
the  laws  were  not  consulted  at  all.  Moreover,  after  issuing 
his  laws  the  sultan  could  not  follow  them  up  to  see  to  their 
execution.  In  later  times,  orders  to  readjust  land  titles  were 
sometimes  given,  but  with  little  further  result  than  to  enrich 
officials  by  the  bribes  which  they  accepted  for  declaring  titles 
good,  or  by  their  confiscations  of  property  on  which  the  owners 
could  not  pay  enough.^  Although  official  corruption  was  un- 
doubtedly not  so  bad  under  Suleiman  as  it  became  later,  the  sus- 
piciously great  wealth  of  high  officials  like  Ibrahim  and  Rustem 
and  the  fact  that  fiefs  and  finances  were  in  worse  disorder  than 
ever,  after  no  great  time  had  elapsed,  gives  evidence  that  his 
laws  were  ngt  faithfully  enforced.- 

Not  much  need  be  said  about  Adet  and  UrJ.  Adet,  or  custom, 
corresponds  primarily  to  the  body  of  unwritten  regulations 
under  which  the  Turks  of  the  steppe  lands  lived.  As  in  most 
semi-civilized  societies,  it  was  at  once  far  wider  in  scope,  more 
rigid,  and  more  binding,  as  enforced  by  popular  opinion,  than 
written  laws  in  more  advanced  societies  usually  are.  Something 
of  these  primitive  characteristics  were  carried  over  into  the 
Ottoman  nation,  with  all  its  acquisition  of  new  membership  and 

'  This  statement  is  based  on  information  obtained  from  a  gentleman  long 
resident  in  Turkey. 
*  Zinkeisen,  iii.  i6i  ff. 


incorporation  of  useful  ideas.  The  conservative  character  of 
Islam  strengthened  the  tendency  to  perpetuate  established 
custom.  It  has  been  remarked  of  the  caliphate  that  in  no  other 
state  have  little  causes  near  the  beginning  produced  such  great 
effects,  because  of  the  tendency  to  follow  precedent  minutely.^ 
A  very  similar  observation  has  been  made  in  regard  to  the 
Ottoman  state:  "  The  changeless  perpetuity  of  a  primitive 
institution  appears  at  every  step  in  Ottoman  history."  ^  What 
has  been  shall  be,  was  a  precept  observed  by  the  Ottomans 
in  matters  small  and  great.  The  principles  of  the  Sacred  Law, 
the  accepted  Kanuns,  and  the  local  Adet  of  towns,  districts, 
and  manors  had  almost  equally  binding  force.  In  fact,  to  the 
unlettered  citizen  they  probably  formed  one  indistinguishable 
whole,  which  seemed  almost  a  feature  of  the  ordering  of  nature. 
Although  such  sentiments  tended  strongly  toward  stabihty, 
they  were  a  great  hindrance  to  improvement.  The  early  Otto- 
mans had  adopted  new  ideas  and  institutions  with  great  readi- 
ness; but,  since  they  held  to  them  with  equal  tenacity,  in  the 
course  of  time  they  had  no  room  left  for  the  admission  of  more 
novelties.  As  fusion  and  combination  were  processes  little 
understood,  the  tendency  was  thus  toward  stagnation,  inter- 
rupted violently  and  for  short  periods  when  evils  became  too 
great  to  be  endured.  But,  while  the  disposition  to  adhere 
to  the  established  order  was  exceedingly  strong  among  the 
Ottomans,  Urf,  the  will  of  the  sovereign  was  recognized  to  be 
superior  to  Adet,  much  as  the  Creator  was  held  to  be  superior 
to  the  ordinary  operations  of  nature.  The  sultan's  will,  however, 
penetrated  but  seldom  so  far  as  to  the  masses  of  the  people. 

Adet  supplemented  the  Sacred  Law  and  the  Kanuns  in  matters 
which  they  did  not  cover.^  It  differed  from  district  to  district, 
as  it  does  in  the  West.  Urf  was  the  sovereign  will  of  the  reigning 
sultan ;  it  was  the  seat  and  organ  of  sovereignty,  being  absolute 
to  the  full  extent  in  which,  according  to  the  Sacred  Law,  God  has 
delegated  the  right  of  legislation  and  rule  to  human  beings.* 
The  will  of  a  past  sultan  could  prevail  only  if  it  had  been  expressed 

^  Macdonald,  lo.  '  Hammer,  Staaisverfassung,  32. 

2  Hammer,  Geschichte,  i.  96.  *  D'Ohsson,  i.  258  ff. 


in  a  Kanun  and  was  enforced  by  the  reigning  sovereign.  It  was 
by  the  expression  of  Urf  that  Kanuns  were  issued  or  annulled 
and  that  Adet  was  replaced  by  Kanun.  So  long  as  the  Sacred 
Law  was  untouched,  Urf  might  be  exercised  oppressively, 
cruelly,  or  unworthily,  without  giving  any  one  the  right  to 
resist.'  Against  the  Sheri,  however,  it  had  no  force;  any  attempt 
to  exercise  it  thus  was  an  invitation  to  disaster.^ 

Suleiman  was  never  in  danger  from  transgression  of  the 
Sacred  Law.  A  devout  Moslem,  whose  piety  increased  in  old 
age,  he  took  seriously  his  duty  of  enforcing  its  provisions,  not 
even  hesitating  at  such  as  were  unpopular,  like  the  prohibition 
of  wine-drinking,^  or  at  such  as  demanded  self-sacrifice  on  his 
part,  like  the  disapproval  of  musical  instruments  and  silver 
plate.^  If  he  did  not  enact  measures  directly  to  increase  the 
welfare  of  the  common  people,  his  attempts  to  regulate  the 
tax  and  tenancy  systems  tended  to  hghten  their  condition. 
Moreover,  he  used  severe  measures  to  put  down  extortion; 
and  he  strove  by  his  market  and  police  regulations  to  maintain 
justice,  fairness,  and  order.* 

The  Viziers 

Ottoman  writers  represented  their  government  under  the  figure 
of  a  tent  supported  by  four  lofty  pillars,^  —  the  Viziers,  the 
Kaziaskers,  the  Dejterdars,  and  the  Nishanjis.  It  is  not  safe 
to  press  comparisons  too  far,  however;  for,  as  a  matter  of  fact, 
the  pillars  did  not  bear  equal  weight.  All  four  groups  of  officials 
were  necessary,  but  they  were  not  of  Hke  importance:    the 

1  "  The  dignity  of  the  Imamate  does  not  absolutely  demand  that  the  Imam  be 
just,  virtuous,  or  irreproachable,  or  that  he  be  the  most  eminent  and  the  most 
excellent  of  the  human  beings  of  his  time  "  (from  the  Midteka,  quoted  by  D'Ohsson, 
i.  271);  "Vices  or  tyranny  in  an  Imam  do  not  demand  his  deposition"  (^ibid. 
288).  This  is  the  doctrine  of  orthodox  Islam,  as  the  outcome  of  the  early 
Kharijite  schisms.  The  Shiites  are  more  critical  as  regards  their  sovereigns,  who 
are  not  regarded  as  Imams. 

*  ',  Staalsverfassitng,  32;   D'Ohsson,  i.  2gi. 

'  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  2>l^~Z2)Z\  D'Ohsson,  iv.  50  fif. 

*  Busbecq,  i.  331;  D'Ohsson,  iv.  103,  280. 
^  Hammer,  Geschichtr,  iii.  71,  486. 

'  Ibid.  ii.  216-217,  223. 


Nishanjis  were  far  less  esteemed  than  the  others;  the  grand 
vizier,  on  the  other  hand,  carried,  from  the  time  of  Suleiman, 
so  much  greater  a  burden  than  any  one  else  that  he  might  be 
compared  to  a  central  pillar  which  supported  the  entire  tent. 

The  viziers  were  the  chief  councillors  of  the  sultan  for  peace 
and  war,  administration  and  justice;  and  they  dehberated  all 
important  questions  in  the  meetings  of  the  Divan,  which  will 
be  described  later.  The  word  vizier  means  burden-bearer,  the 
idea  being  that  an  official  so  designated  lifted  from  the  shoulders 
of  the  sovereign  the  burden  of  state,  and  bore  it  upon  his  own 
shoulders.  The  number  of  viziers  was  not  rigidly  fixed,  but  in 
the  reign  of  Suleiman,  there  were  ordinarily  four,  that  being  a 
sacred  number  with  both  Turks  and  Moslems. ^  All  bore  the  title 
pasha,  which  was  sparingly  used  in  the  sixteenth  century. 
Ordinary  viziers  had  no  regular  responsibilities  besides  their 
function  as  councillors;  they  had  great  incomes  from  both 
regular  and  irregular  sources,  and  kept  large  estabHshments 
modeled  on  that  of  their  master. ^ 

In  the  time  of  Suleiman,  the  office  of  grand  \dzier  reached 
the  cHmax  of  a  noteworthy  development.  Whereas  formerly 
this  official  had  been  the  senior  member  of  the  sultan's  board 
of  advisers,  primus  inter  pares,  he  now  became  a  personage  far 
above  his  fellow-viziers.  His  position  came  to  differ  from  theirs 
not  merely  in  degree,  but  in  kind,  a  difference  typified  by  the 
fact  that,  in  reporting  to  Suleiman  after  the  meetings  of  the 
Divan,  none  spoke  but  the  grand  vizier.^  This  development 
of  the  office  seems  to  have  resulted  from  Suleiman's  willingness 
to  entrust  much  power  to  a  chosen  instrument,  who  would  thus 
relieve  him  of  many  of  the  immense  cares  of  empire.  Ibrahim 
first  held  his  master's  confidence  for  many  years.  Later 
Rustem  came  to  full  power,  supported  by  the  wife  and  the 
favorite  daughter  of  the  monarch.  In  Suleiman's  last  years 
he  left  weU-nigh  everything  to  Ali  and  to  Mohammed  SokolH.'* 

1  lUd.  i.  565,  ii.  223.  ^  See  above,  pp.  58,  59. 

'  A.  Barbarigo,  155;  D.  Barbarigo,  26;  Bernardo,  326;  Erizzo,  136.     See  also 
Chesneau,  41. 
*  Barbaro,  319. 


The  grand  vizier  thus  came  practically  to  wield  the  sovereign 
power  of  the  Ottoman  state:  the  sultan  might  almost  discharge 
his  mind  of  public  care.  That  is  why  it  became  easy  for  Selim  II 
and  his  successors  to  withdraw  into  the  harem,  and  devote  most 
of  their  energies  to  carousing  and  debauchery.  Had  the  position 
of  the  grand  vizier  been  more  secure,  this  change  might  have 
been  for  the  good  of  the  Ottoman  state,  as  alTording  a  means 
of  supplementing  the  scanty  abilities  of  weak  sultans  by  those 
of  the  ablest  men  of  the  empire.  In  the  case  of  Mohammed 
Sokolli,  and  of  the  Kiuprilis  three  generations  later,  such  was 
to  be  the  fact.  More  often,  however,  the  place  of  grand  vizier 
was  to  be  so  thoroughly  at  the  mercy  of  harem  intrigue  that 
only  a  master  of  this  art  could  retain  his  precarious  position  by 
immense  efforts,  such  as  would  leave  a  mere  remnant  of  his 
energies  free  for  the  service  of  the  state.  The  increase  under 
Suleiman  of  the  relative  power  of  the  grand  vizier  was  thus  a 
dangerous  and  eventually  a  disastrous  development. 

It  is  clear  that  the  grand  vizier  fully  deserved  the  name  of 
burden-bearer.  Whereas  even  so  earnest  a  sovereign  as  Sulei- 
man appears  to  have  had  a  sufficiently  leisurely  life  in  time  of 
peace,  in  spite  of  his  great  responsibilities  as  head  of  a  despotic 
government,^  his  grand  viziers  must  have  been  kept  fully  occu- 
pied. He  that  has  been  called  the  greatest  of  all  viziers,  the 
Nizam  al-mulk,  spoke  out  of  his  experience  when  he  said:  "  It 
is  necessary  that  the  sovereign  consider  with  his  vizier  affairs 
of  state  and  all  that  concerns  the  army,  the  finances  and  general 
prosperity.  He  must  needs  give  attention  to  the  measures 
which  should  be  taken  against  the  enemies  of  the  empire  and 
everything  that  relates  to  the  subject.  All  these  matters  give 
rise  to  a  great  many  annoyances  and  preoccupations  and  put 
the  spirit  to  torture,  for  they  do  not  leave  a  single  instant  of 
repose."  ^ 

The  grand  vizier  represented  the  sultan  as  head  of  the  civil 
and  military  administration  and  as  supreme  judge.^     He  ap- 

^  Postel,  iii.  passim,  gives  various  glimpses  of  his  life. 
'  Siasset  Nanthh,  163. 

'  The  position  and  duties  of  the  grand  vizier  at  a  later  date  are  described  at 
length  by  Hammer,  Staatsvenraltuug,  79-101,  and  by  D'Ohsson,  vii.  177-189. 


pointed  the  highest  officials  in  these  departments.  He  presided 
over  long  sessions  of  the  Divan  four  days  in  the  week.  Some 
of  his  other  duties,  cares,  and  obligatory  ceremonies  appear  in 
the  catalogue  of  his  ten  special  prerogatives:  ^  — 

1.  He  had  the  care  of  the  imperial  seal,  with  which,  on  the 
days  of  the  Divan,  the  doors  of  the  treasury  and  chancery  were 
sealed.  The  delivery  of  the  seal  was  the  symbol  of  investiture 
with  the  office  of  grand  vizier. 

2.  He  might  hold  a  Divan  of  his  own  at  his  palace  in  the  after- 
noon. This  was  an  important  session  of  court  at  which  many 
cases,  both  great  and  small,  were  decided.^ 

3.  He  had  the  right  to  be  escorted  by  the  Chaush-hashi  and 
all  the  Chaushes  from  his  palace  to  and  from  the  sultan's  palace. 

4.  He  received  visits  of  state  from  the  Kaziaskers  and  DeJ- 
terdars  every  Wednesday. 

5.  He  was  honored  by  the  appearance  of  the  officers  of  the 
imperial  stirrup  every  Monday  in  the  Divan. 

6.  He  went  in  solemn  procession  on  Friday  to  the  mosque, 
escorted  by  the  Chaushes,  the  Muteferrika,  and  others  of  the 
outside  service  in  turbans  of  ceremony. 

7.  He  received  a  weekly  visit  from  the  Agha  of  the  Janis- 
saries, and  a  monthly  visit  from  the  other  viziers. 

8.  He  inspected  the  city  of  Constantinople  and  its  markets, 
escorted  by  the  judge  of  Constantinople,  the  Agha  of  the  Janis- 
saries, the  provost  of  the  markets,  and  the  prefect  of  the  city. 

9.  He  received  a  weekly  visit  of  state  from  various  magis- 
trates and  Sanjak  Beys. 

10.  He  was  honored  at  the  two  Bairams  with  official  felicita- 
tions from  the  other  viziers,  the  Dejterdars,  the  Beys,  the  magis- 
trates, and  the  generals  of  the  army. 

Customary  ceremonies  alone  were  evidently  enough  to  absorb 
a  very  large  part  of  the  grand  vizier's  time;  but  they  were  a 
mere  incident  to  the  vast  amount  of  administrative  and  judicial 
business  that  demanded  his  attention.     It  is  not  to  be  wondered 

^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  226;    taken  from  the  Turkish  historian  Aali  and 
referring  to  the  time  of  Mohammed  II. 
^  Postel,  i.  123. 


at  that  the  period  of  service  in  this  office  was  short,  on  the  aver- 
age. The  post  was  a  dangerous  one;  for  the  possessor,  with  all 
his  greatness,  was  the  sultan's  kul,  and  liable  to  summary  exe- 
cution if  he  failed  to  give  satisfaction.  Of  some  two  hundred 
men  who  served  as  grand  viziers  in  the  course  of  five  hundred 
years,  about  twenty  were  executed  at  the  time  of  their  deposi- 

Suleiman's  grand  viziers  held  office  for  comparatively  long 
periods.^  Seven,  taken  together,  served  him  forty  years;  Mo- 
hammed Piri  Pasha,  whom  he  found  in  office  at  his  accession, 
served  in  all  six  years,  and  Mohammed  Sokolli,  whom  he  left 
in  office  at  his  death,  served  fifteen  years.  Thus  in  sixty-two 
years  there  were  only  nine  in  all.  Three  of  them  deserve  to  be 
called  great,  —  Ibrahim  for  his  splendor,  his  breadth  of  mind, 
and  his  continuance  in  favor,  Rustem  for  his  financial  shrewd- 
ness, and  Mohammed  Sokolli  for  his  statesmanship.  These 
three  also  served  the  longest,  —  Ibrahim  thirteen  years,  Rustem 
fifteen  years  in  two  periods,  and  Mohammed  Sokolli  fifteen 
years  without  a  break.  Four  of  the  nine  ended  their  service  at 
death,  two  were  deposed  and  executed,  three  were  simply  de- 
posed. All  except  Mohammed  Piri  Pasha  were  Christian 
renegades,  who  had  risen  as  slaves  to  the  highest  honor  of  the 

The  Kaziaskers  were,  under  the  sultan  and  the  grand  vizier, 
the  heads  of  the  judiciary  of  the  empire.  They  sat  in  the  Divan, 
where  they  ranked  next  to  the  grand  vizier.  Since  they  belonged 
to  the  Moslem  Institution,  discussion  of  their  duties  will  be 
postponed  to  the  next  chapter. 

The  Defterdars,  or  Treasurers  ^ 

The  great  labor  of  accounting  for  the  receipts  and  expendi- 
tures of  the  Ruhng  Institution  in  practically  all  its  capacities 

^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  5. 

2  Ibid.  iii.  793. 

'  The  position  of  the  Dcflcrdars  about  the  year  1800  is  discussed  in  D'Ohsson, 
vii.  261  ff.,  and  in  Hammer,  Staatsvenualtung,  137  S.  Contemporary  accounts  are 
found  in  Menavino,  168;  Ramberti,  below,  p.  247;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  265; 
Pastel,  iii.  66-70. 


was  under  the  care  of  the  two  principal  Defterdars,  or  treasurers, 
one  for  RumeHa  and  one  for  Anatolia,  aided  by  two  of  lower 
rank,  one  for  Aleppo  and  the  southwest  and  one  for  the  Danubian 
countries.^  The  principal  Defterdars  were  men  of  great  position, 
with  large  incomes  and  households,  and  possessing  the  right  of 
audience  with  the  sultan  in  regard  to  matters  of  revenue.-  Under 
them  were  twenty-five  departments  or  bureaus,  as  instituted 
by  the  Conqueror,  each  with  a  chief,  or  KJwjagan,  who  directed 
a  number  of  clerks  of  different  grades.  Between  these  and  the 
Defterdars  were  several  intermediate  officials,  of  whom  the  most 
important  were  the  two  Rusnamehjis,  or  book-keepers.  The 
total  personnel  of  the  treasury  department  numbered  more  than 
eight  hundred.^ 

A  list  of  the  twenty-five  bureaus,  or  kalems,  with  a  statement 
of  the  provinces  of  each,  will  give  an  excellent  idea  of  the  com- 
pHcated  financial  arrangements  of  the  Ottoman  government/ 
Taken  as  a  whole,  they  show  in  outline  the  economic  substructure 
of  the  Ruling  Institution,  as  well  as  that  of  the  Moslem  Institu- 
tion, with  exception  of  the  sultan's  private  treasury,  out  of 
which  most  of  the  inner  service  of  the  court  was  paid,  and  of  the 
provisions  for  the  officers  and  judges  of  local  government :  — 

I.  The  Buyuk  Rusnameh  Kalemi,  or  greater  book-keeping 
bureau,  was  the  central  office  to  which  all  the  accounts  were 
brought  from  the  other  bureaus.     Once  or  twice  a  year  it  drew 

^  The  word  means  primarily  "  book-keeper."  It  is  derived  either  from  the 
Greek  word  5i(pdipa  or  from  a  similar  Persian  word  (Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii. 
228).  Ramberti  (below,  p.  247)  mentions  but  two  Defterdars,  one  who  took  care 
of  the  revenue  from  all  the  Asiatic  provinces,  Egypt,  and  the  Danubian  countries, 
and  received  ten  thousand  ducats  a  year,  and  perquisites,  the  other  who  took  care  of 
the  revenue  from  the  rest  of  the  European  dominions,  received  six  thousand  ducats 
and  perquisites,  and  was  governor  of  Constantinople  in  the  sultan's  absence. 

2  Spandugino,  98. 

'  Junis  Bey  (below,  p.  265)  says  that  the  Defterdars  had  200  slaves  each  for  their 
courts.  Then  he  speaks  of  50  scribes,  each  with  15  or  20  slaves,  and  of  25  secretaries 
who  must  have  been  the  heads  of  the  bureaus,  and  who  had  slaves.  Next  he 
mentions  the  two  Rusnamekjis,  who  had  20  or  25  companions  under  them.  Ram- 
berti, 247,  says  that  the  first  Defterdar  had  1000  slaves  in  his  household, 
and  the  second  500.  Postel,  iii.  69,  mentions  only  one  Rusnamehji,  but  clearly 
states  that  he  is  over  the  chiefs  of  the  twenty-five  bureaus. 

*  D'Ohsson,  vii.  264-273;  Hammer,  Staatsverwaltung,  145-170. 


up  a  statement  of  the  finances  of  the  government.     The  income 
of  this  bureau  seems  to  have  been  the  greatest  of  all.' 

2.  The  Bash  Miihasebch  Kalemi,  or  head  bureau  of  accounts, 
was  the  largest  of  all  in  numerical  strength,  and  the  second  in 
income.  It  kept  account  of  tithes  and  taxes  from  the  sanjaks, 
of  munitions  of  war  of  all  kinds,  of  the  pay  of  the  garrisons  of 
Rumelia  and  Anatolia,  of  the  receipts  and  expenses  of  the  intend- 
ants  of  buildings,  the  admiralty,  the  kitchen,  forage,^  the  mint, 
the  three  powder  factories  at  Constantinople,  Salonika,  and 
Gallipoli,  and  of  the  inspector  of  artillery.  This  bureau  received 
copies  of  all  contracts  made  in  the  public  service,  and  it  registered 
and  countersigned  the  entire  vast  number  of  orders  on  the 

3.  The  Anatoli  Muhasehesi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  accounts 
for  Anatolia  (though  it  was  by  no  means  confined  to  Anatolia 
in  its  scope),  kept  accounts  for  certain  domanial  lands,  for  the 
garrisons  in  the  Aegean  Islands,  and  for  the  pensions  of  veteran 

4.  The  Suvari  Mukahelesi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  control  for 
the  cavalry,  kept  account  of  the  salaries  of  officials  of  the  inner 
service,  of  the  Kapujis,  of  the  imperial  stables,  and  of  all  the 
Spahis  of  the  Porte. 

5.  The  Sipahi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  the  Spahis,  issued  orders 
for  the  pay  of  the  Spahis  proper,  which  required  to  be  counter- 
signed by  the  head  of  the  fourth  bureau. 

6.  The  Silihdar  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  Silihdars,  was  similar 
to  the  fifth  bureau,  except  that  it  was  concerned  with  the  5////;- 

7.  The  Haremein  Muhasebeh  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  accounts 
of  the  Holy  Cities  of  Mecca  and  Medina,  kept  the  books  of  the 
religious  endowments  or  vakfs  of  the  imperial  mosques,  of  the 
salaries  of  all  persons  connected  with  these  mosques,  of  all  other 
religious  endowments  in  Constantinople  and  elsewhere  in  Rume- 
lia, and  of  all  Rumelian  property  dedicated  to  the  Holy  Cities. 
All  certificates  of  nomination   to   service   in   connection   with 

'  It  certainly  was  in  1660.     Cf.  Hammer,  Staalsvcrd'allinig,  170. 
^  D'Ohsson,  vii.  265,  omits  the  intendants  of  buildings  and  forage. 


mosques  in  Rumelia  were  prepared  here,  to  be  presented  to  the 
tenth  bureau  for  the  issuance  of  diplomas. 

8.  The  Jizyeh  Muhasebesi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  accounts 
for  the  capitation  tax,  issued  orders  yearly  for  the  payment  of 
this  tax  according  to  the  estimated  number  of  adult  male  subject 
Christians.  A  specified  number  of  these  orders  was  sent  to  each 
district,  which  was  held  responsible  for  a  corresponding  revenue.^ 
The  income  of  this  bureau  was  only  a  little  less  than  that  of  the 
second  bureau. 

9.  The  Mevkufat  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  tributes,  kept  account 
of  taxes  paid  in  kind,  of  the  quantity  of  grain  in  the  pubHc 
storehouses  of  Constantinople  and  the  border  fortresses,  and 
of  the  grants  of  supplies  from  these  stores  to  the  several  army 
corps  and  to  the  households  of  mihtary  and  civil  kullar  who  were 
required  to  follow  the  army. 

10.  The  Maliyeh  Kalemi,  or  chancery  bureau  of  the  treasury 
department,  issued  diplomas  to  all  employees  of  mosques  who 
brought  certificates  of  nomination  from  the  seventh  and  twen- 
tieth bureaus,  and  to  all  administrators  of  religious  endowments 
and  pensioners  upon  such  funds;  and  it  drew  up  for  the  approval 
of  the  sultan  and  the  countersignature  of  the  Dejterdars  all 
firmans,  or  administrative  orders,  that  concerned  the  treasury 

11.  The  Kuchuk  Rusnameh  Kalemi,  or  lesser  book-keeping 
bureau,  kept  the  accounts  of  the  head  Kapujis,  the  stewards, 
and  the  marine. 

12.  The  Piadeh  Mukabelesi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  control 
for  the  infantry,  kept  the  books  of  the  Janissaries  and  the  auxili- 
ary corps  of  the  standing  army. 

13.  The  Kuchuk  Evkaf  Muhasebesi  Kalemi,  or  lesser  bureau 
of  accounts  of  religious  endowments,  kept  the  accounts  of  all 
pensioners  and  attendants  of  the  endowed  pubhc  hospitals, 
soup-kitchens,  insane  asylums,  and  the  like. 

14.  The  Buyuk  Kalaa  Kalemi,  or  greater  bureau  of  fortresses, 
kept  record  of  the  garrisons  and  of  the  mihtia  who  were  liable 
for  the  service  of  the  fortresses  of  the  Danube  regions. 

*  D'Ohsson,  vii.  236. 


15.  The  Kuchuk  Kalaa  Kalemi,  or  lesser  bureau  of  fortresses, 
kept  like  records  for  fortresses  in  Albania  and  the  Morea. 

16.  The  Maaden  Mukalaasi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  mine  leases, 
kept  account  of  the  tribute  required  from  gipsies,  of  the  receipts 
from  gold  and  silver  mines  in  Europe  and  Asia,  of  the  tributes 
from  Moldavia  and  Wallachia,  and  of  the  customs  duties  of 
Constantinople,  Adrianople,  Smyrna,  Gallipoli,  Chios,  and  other 

17.  The  Saliyaneh  Mukataasi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  salaries, 
arranged  the  yearly  pay  of  the  captains  of  the  fleet,  and  of  the 
Khan  of  the  Crimea  and  some  of  his  officials. 

18.  The  Khaslar  Mukataasi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  domanial 
leases,  kept  the  books  of  the  domain  lands  whose  revenues  were 
assigned  to  the  chief  ladies  of  the  harem,  including  the  Sultana 
Valideh  and  the  sultan's  daughters,  and  to  the  high  officials  of  the 

19.  The  Bash  Mukataasi  Kalemi,  or  head  bureau  of  leases, 
cared  for  the  revenues  from  the  domains  in  some  lower  Danubian 
lands,  from  the  rice  fields  of  Eastern  RumeUa,  from  various 
salt  works,  from  the  fisheries  of  the  Aegean  and  Black  seas, 
and  from  the  forests. 

20.  The  Haremein  Mukataasi  Kale?ni,  or  bureau  of  leases 
of  the  Holy  Cities,  was  charged  with  regard  to  Anatolia,  as  was 
the  seventh  bureau  with  regard  to  Rumelia. 

21.  The  Istambol  Mukataasi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  leases 
for  Constantinople,  kept  account  of  the  domanial  leases  of 
Salonika,  Tirhala,  and  Brusa,  the  market  dues  of  Constantinople 
and  Adrianople,  the  revenues  from  silk  and  from  the  manufacture 
of  articles  in  gold  and  silver. 

22.  The  Brusa  Mukataasi  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  the  leases  of 
Brusa,  kept  account  of  the  domanial  leases  in  the  neighborhood 
of  that  city. 

1  Charges  for  the  right  to  plant  and  transport  tobacco  were  later  assigned  to  the 
care  of  this  bureau.     See  Hammer,  Slaatsvcncalliiug,  156. 

*  At  a  later  date,  when  the  expenses  of  the  harem  became  greater,  the  customs 
duties  of  certain  regions,  the  tobacco  revenue  from  Syria  and  Arabia,  and  the  tax 
on  wool  and  yarn  were  also  assigned  to  this  bureau  {ibid.  158). 


23.  The  Avlonia  Mukataasi  Kalenii,  kept  similar  accounts  for 
the  island  of  Euboea,  or  Negropont. 

24.  The  Kajffa  Mukataasi  Kalemi  kept  similar  accounts  for 
Kaffa  and  certain  domain  lands  of  Anatolia. 

25.  The  Tarishji  Kalemi,  or  bureau  of  dates,  dated  all  public 
documents  that  came  from  the  other  bureaus,  and,  at  least  in 
later  times,  prepared  assignments  on  the  pubhc  revenues  on 
behalf  of  creditors  of  the  government. 

Supplementary  bureaus,  attached  to  some  of  the  others, 
were  the  bureau  of  confiscations  and  escheats  to  the  crown, 
the  bureau  of  the  tax  on  animals,  and  the  bureau  of  the  Christian 
churches  and  monasteries.  An  additional  office  of  great  impor- 
tance, called  the  Oda  of  the  treasury  department,  attended  to  the 
correspondance  of  the  Defterdars,  to  their  reports  to  the  grand 
vizier  and  the  sultan,  and  to  the  forwarding  of  leases  for  sections 
of  the  crown  lands.  Attached  to  the  treasury  department 
was  a  special  court  under  a  judge  appointed  by  the  Kaziasker 
of  Rumeha,  which  was  designed  to  adjust  disputes  between  the 
department  and  private  citizens. 

A  Defter-emini,  or  book-keeper  intendant,  kept  the  records  of 
the  fief-holders  and  administered  their  estates  during  vacancies. 
He  was  well  paid,  and  had  a  staff  of  clerks.^  He  appears  to 
have  been  independent  of  the  Defterdars.  Two  household 
treasurers  were  in  charge  of  the  sultan's  personal  funds:  the 
eunuch  Khazinehdar-bashi,  already  mentioned  as  chief  of  the 
treasury  chamber  of  pages,  guarded  the  treasure  stored  there, 
and  paid  the  members  of  the  inner  service;  a  second  official, 
under  the  authority  of  the  former  and  apparently  called  by  the 
same  name,  attended  to  the  business  of  the  sultan's  private 
purse  outside  the  palace.-  The  sultan  had  in  the  castle  of  the 
Seven  Towers,  or  Yedi-kuleh,  another  deposit  of  treasure  which 
was  supposed  to  be  very  large. ^ 

1  Junis  Bey  (below,  p.  266)  and  Postal,  iii.  70,  call  this  official  Defterdar-emini . 
His  department,  in  three  bureaus,  became  a  record  office  of  land  titles  (D'Ohsson, 
vii.  193).     It  may  have  had  this  wider  function  in  the  sixteenth  century. 

2  Spandugino,  65,  119;   Ramberti,  below,  pp.  244,  248. 
^  Menavino,  182;  Postel,  iii.  70. 


The  characteristics  of  the  treasury  scheme  give  evidence 
that  it  developed  by  a  gradual  growth  without  systematic 
revision  at  any  time.  As  new  occasions  for  expenditure  arose, 
they  were  put  in  charge  of  various  bureaus;  as  new  provinces 
or  other  sources  of  fresh  income  appeared,  they  were  either 
assigned  to  existing  bureaus  or  given  to  new  ones  created  for 
the  purpose.  The  bureaus  of  Istambol,  Avlona,  and  Kaffa 
evidently  date  from  the  time  of  the  Conqueror;  most  of  the 
others  must  have  been  older.  That  the  conquests  of  Selim 
and  Suleiman  were  not  administered  from  Constantinople 
is  evident  from  a  study  of  the  bureaus,  and  from  the  separate 
listing  of  the  revenues  from  Syria,  Mesopotamia,  and  Egypt  in 
contemporary  estimates.  Since  the  authorities  give  no  source 
of  revenue  for  the  first  bureau,  which  nevertheless  seems  to 
have  had  the  greatest  income  of  all,  it  is  probable  that  the 
tribute  from  the  later  conquests  was  paid  into  that  department, 
and  by  it  apportioned  to  bureaus  of  expenditure,  such  as  the 
fourth,  the  eleventh,  and  the  twelfth.  It  is  worthy  of  notice 
to  what  an  extent  the  sources  of  revenue  were  ear-marked  for 
expenditure.  The  second  bureau  received  the  tithes  and  taxes 
of  the  sanjaks,  and  paid  them  out  for  munitions  of  war,  the 
maintenance  of  garrisons,  and  the  expenses  of  the  intendants 
of  the  outside  service  of  the  court.  The  third  bureau  received 
the  revenue  from  certain  domanial  lands,  and  supported  the 
garrisons  of  the  Aegean  Islands  and  soldiers  who  had  been  pen- 
sioned. The  eighteenth  bureau  administered  domanial  lands 
for  the  support  of  the  harem  and  high  officials.  The  ninth 
bureau  received  and  delivered  to  the  army  taxes  paid  in  kind. 
The  seventh,  thirteenth,  and  twentieth  bureaus  took  revenues 
from  lands  assigned  by  religious  endowment  for  the  support  of 
the  Moslem  Institution  and  certain  beneficiaries,  and  paid  them 
out  as  stipulated  by  the  givers. 

Instead  of  one  treasury,  into  which  all  revenues  should  come 
and  out  of  which  all  disbursements  should  be  made,  there  were 
fifteen  or  more  bureaus  which  received,  and  as  many  which  spent; 
and  some  of  those  which  both  received  and  spent  were,  except 
for  the  oversight  of  the  first  bureau,  practically  independent 


institutions.  A  distinct  tendency  toward  decentralization  of 
management  is  manifest.  Whatever  could  be  set  off  by  itself 
was  made  as  nearly  independent  as  possible,  subject  only  to 
inspection  and  supervision.  This  policy  undoubtedly  resulted 
from  the  despotic  character  of  the  government.  Since  one 
man,  the  founder  of  a  despotic  state,  can  attend  to  only  a  Hmited 
number  of  duties,  he  is  forced,  as  his  power  develops,  to  assign 
more  and  more  responsibilities  to  subordinates.  The  method 
which  most  relieves  the  central  management  is  to  entrust  definite 
duties  to  definite  groups  of  men,  to  support  these  with  sufficient 
revenues,  and  then  to  leave  them  to  themselves.  If  things  go 
wrong  in  any  department,  the  central  authority  intervenes, 
punishes  severely  those  who  were  responsible,  sets  things  to 
rights  forcibly,  and  again  leaves  the  department  to  itself.  The 
system  is  very  dangerous  unless  the  central  management  can  be 
kept  constantly  strong  and  able  to  assume  full  control  promptly 
and  effectively.  This  was  the  case  in  the  Ottoman  Empire 
until  after  the  time  of  Suleiman. 

A  yet  stronger  tendency  toward  decentralization  appeared 
in  connection  with  local  government.  Each  Beylerbey  had  his 
own  mufti,  reis  effendi,  and  defterdar,  with  a  considerable  body 
of  clerks,  who  advised  him,  recorded  his  decisions,  attended 
to  the  revenues  from  the  estates  assigned  for  the  support  of  his 
household,  and  kept  account  of  the  fief-holders  in  his  dominion. ^ 
Each  Sanjak  Bey  again  had  his  group  of  assistants,  with  similar 
duties  on  a  lesser  scale.^  Some  generations  later  the  extension 
of  this  decentralization  was  to  become  a  great  evil. 

The  duties  of  the  bureaus  of  the  treasury  department  reveal 
clearly  the  limited  purposes  and  activities  of  the  Ottoman 
government.  The  support  of  the  Ruhng  Institution  as  standing 
army,  court,  and  government  was  provided  for;  the  revenues 
assigned  by  former  sultans  and  by  private  individuals  to  the 
support  of  the  Moslem  Institution  in  its  religious  and  charitable 
aspects  were  supervised;  the  navy  was  provided  for;  and  the 

1  Ricaut,  103,  Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey  (below,  pp.  256,  271)  say  that  the 
Beylerbey  of  Rumelia  had  100  scribes. 

2  Spandugino,  148;  Postal,  iii.  63. 


Khan  of  the  Crimea  was  pensioned.  But  nothing  was  done  for 
the  great  mass  of  the  population.  They  were  expected  to 
furnish  the  means  for  these  activities;  and  the  duty  of  the  most 
conscientious  sovereign  was  fully  performed  if  he  provided  that 
they  should  labor  unmolested,  and  should  not  be  burdened  with 
taxation  beyond  their  ability  to  pay.  Under  a  strong  ruling 
hand  the  Ottoman  system  easily  maintained  order  through 
the  standing  and  feudal  armies,  but  it  did  not  so  easily  regulate 
the  burden  of  taxation.  This  subject  deserves  special  considera- 

Taxation  in  the  Ottoman  Empire^ 

A  distinction  was  drawn  between  taxes  authorized  by  the 
Sacred  Law,  which  were  called  legal,  and  all  others,  which  were 
called  arbitrary  as  depending  on  the  will  of  the  sovereign.  The 
early  Islamic  system  of  taxation,  taken  over,  it  would  seem, 
from  the  Sassanian  Persian  Empire,^  was  extremely  simple. 
No  taxes  were  laid  except  on  land  and  on  persons.  The  lands 
of  Arabia  and  Bosra  were  charged  with  a  tithe,  or  ^ushr,  of  their 
produce.  Other  conquered  lands  were  more  heavily  burdened, 
being  assessed  with  a  khardj,  or  tax  payable  in  money,  and  with 
a  share  of  the  produce,  which  might  be  from  the  tenth  to  the 
half  according  to  the  fertility  of  the  land.  The  tax  on  persons, 
the  jizyeh,  was  limited  to  a  poll  or  capitation  tax  on  adult  male 
subjects  who  were  not  Moslems.  The  ^ushr,  the  khardj,  and  the 
jizyeh  were  the  only  taxes  recognized  by  the  Sacred  Law. 

Other  methods  of  taxation  were  utilized  almost  from  the 
beginning.  When,  with  the  conquest  of  Syria  and  Egypt,  the 
Byzantine  Empire  was  entered,  it  did  not  seem  best  to  sweep 
away  the  customs,  tolls,  and  other  impositions  which  drew 
revenue  from  trade.  As  such  taxes  did  not  rest  on  a  constitu- 
tional foundation,  they  were  discouraged  by  some  legists;  but 
they  became  more  and  more  necessary  as  a  worldly  government 
developed,  and  as  the  revenues  from  a  large  part  of  the  land 
were  set  aside  for  religious  foundations. 

*  This  subject  is  treated  in  Hammer,  Geschichle,  iii.  478-4S3,  and  Staatsverfas- 
sung,  180-337;  D'Ohsson,  v.  15-37;  and,  as  concerns  the  legal  taxes,  in  Belin, 
La  Propriety  Foncicre. 

*  Hammer,  Slaalsverfassiing,  37  ff. 


The  early  Islamic  state  also  had  a  vast  source  of  revenue 
in  booty.  Four-fifths  of  this  went  to  the  generals  and  soldiers 
actuall}^  concerned  in  conquest;  the  remaining  fifth  was  sent  to 
Medina.  After  the  capital  had  been  removed  from  Arabia, 
the  "  Prophet's  fifth  "  was  still  claimed  for  the  support  of  legists 
and  judges. 

The  Islamic  system,  with  its  distinction  of  legal  and  arbitrary 
taxes,  its  rules  regulating  the  distribution  of  booty,  and  its 
custom  of  devoting  revenues  to  religious  foundations,  was  taken 
up  by  the  Ottoman  state.  At  the  same  time  the  feudal  system, 
based  upon  both  Seljuk  and  Byzantine  example,  was  appUed 
to  a  large  part  of  the  lands  conquered  from  Christians,  an  ar- 
rangement which  yielded  considerable  revenue  for  the  support 
of  individuals;  and  a  host  of  Seljuk  and  Byzantine  imposts 
lengthened  the  list  of  arbitrary  taxes.  Much  land  was  retained 
as  imperial  domain,  perhaps  in  many  cases  land  that  was  already 
domain  of  the  Byzantine  emperors  and  other  rulers  whom  the 
Ottomans  dispossessed.  The  conquests  in  Cilicia,  Syria,  Mes- 
opotamia, and  Egypt  were  left  under  the  old  regulations,  with 
some  clearing  away  of  arbitrary  taxes,  and  preparing  of  cadasters 
in  the  Turkish  language.^  Hungary  was  carefully  cadastered, 
to  be  administered  thus  during  a  century  and  a  half.^  Special 
arrangements  and  exemptions  were  made  for  the  foreign  colo- 
nists, of  a  character  similar  to  old  Byzantine  and  Saracen  treaties 
and  agreements. 

As  a  result  of  all  this,  the  system  of  taxation  in  the  Ottoman 
Empire  was  very  complex.  It  contained  a  great  variety  of 
taxes,  —  on  persons,  land,  trade,  animals,  produce,  mines, 
markets,  and  the  like,  —  differing  from  sanjak  to  sanjak  and 
from  town  to  town;  and  it  collected  its  income  by  various 
methods  and  through  various  agencies.  The  details  of  the 
system  cannot  be  considered  here,  but  a  few  general  observations 
may  be  made. 

1  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  523,  iii.  65. 

2  Ibid.  iii.  266.  According  to  Heidborn,  339,  the  registering  of  the  lands  of 
the  different  regions  of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  begun  in  1548  by  Suleiman's  order 
and  completed  after  some  55  years,  remains  to  the  present  time  the  basis  of  land 
titles  in  Turkey. 


Until  the  time  of  Mohammed  II  the  revenues  were  adminis- 
tered directly  by  the  treasury  department,  but  this  method  led 
to  so  many  malversations  at  the  cost  of  the  government  that  he 
changed  the  system  to  one  of  tax-farming.  By  this  means  the 
government  became  sure  of  its  money.  The  malversations 
did  not  stop,  however,  but  went  on  now  at  the  cost  of  the  tax- 
payers.^ The  taxes  of  regions  of  large  size  were  sold  by  the 
treasury,  usually  to  high  officers  among  the  kullar,  who  did  not 
intend  to  collect  the  taxes  themselves,  but  sold  them  again  by 
sections.  This  process  might  be  repeated  several  times,  till  in 
the  end  it  would  probably  be,  not  Ottomans,  but  Christians 
and  Jews  who  applied  the  screws  to  the  unfortunate  subjects.- 
The  amount  wrung  from  them  might  easily  be  double  what 
the  government  received. 

The  strongly  conservative  tendency  of  the  Ottoman  people 
showed  markedly  in  regard  to  taxation.  The  taxes  that  had 
been  agreed  upon  of  old  were  paid,  but  a  general  revision  of  the 
system  in  the  direction  of  uniformity  was  never  thought  of. 
The  revenues  of  the  empire  were  thus  extremely  inelastic.^  A 
special  war  contribution  might  be  laid,  as  was  done  by  Suleiman 
before  Mohacs,^  and  requisitions  might  be  made  upon  the 
inhabitants  of  a  region  through  which  the  army  passed;  but  a 
permanent  increase  of  revenue  was  practically  impossible. 
The  tendency  was  in  the  other  direction.  As  the  value  of  money 
declined,  not  without  assistance  from  the  sultans,^  all  revenues 
payable  in  agreed  sums  declined  likewise.  Payments  in  kind 
from  agricultural  products  may  have  increased  for  a  time  under 
local  peace  and  security,  but  in  the  end  they  were  to  diminish 
also.  Treaties  with  Western  nations  were  so  favorable  to  the 
latter  commercially  as  to  prevent  the  receipt  of  extensive  rev- 

'  D'Ohsson,  vii.  242. 

2  Spandugino,  144.  Postel,  iii.  65,  says  that  the  tithes  (apparently  those  reve- 
nues not  sold  in  the  lump  or  left  for  individual  collection)  were  collected  by 
Christian  receivers  {Ioks  Chresliens),  who  delivered  them  to  the  Kadis,  and  these 
to  the  Sanjak,  he  to  the  Beylerbey,  and  the  Beylerbcy  to  the  Dejterdars. 

»  D'Ohsson,  vii.  258. 

*  Hammer,  Geschichle,  iii.  471.  It  was  a  poll-tax  of  15  aspers  on  each  male 

^  Spandugino,  57. 


enues  from  foreign  customs  duties;  and  such  trade  must  have 
increased  with  the  growth  of  the  empire  and  the  increasing 
luxury  of  the  court.  But  on  the  whole  the  sultan's  receipts 
from  taxation,  aside  from  the  effect  of  new  conquests,  and  allow- 
ing for  the  fluctuations  in  tithes  due  to  good  and  bad  harvests, 
were  probably  not  far  from  stationary. 

The  receipts  from  the  sultan's  fifth  of  booty  taken  in  war, 
which  included  slaves,  must  have  been  considerable  up  to  the 
end  of  Suleiman's  reign.  They  were  all  devoted,  however, 
to  the  support  of  the  Moslem  Institution. ^  Tribute  came  in 
from  several  countries,  as  Moldavia,  Wallachia,  Transylvania, 
Ragusa,  from  Venice  for  Cyprus,  and  after  1547  from  Austria 
for  Hungary.  This  was  forced  up  whenever  possible  as  punish- 
ment for  unrest,  and  was  shared  by  the  sultan  with  high  officials.^ 
Confiscations  of  the  property  of  executed  persons  brought 
several  great  sums  to  Suleiman.  The  estates  of  kullar  who 
died  without  children,  and  the  tithes  of  the  estates  of  those 
who  left  children,  constituted  a  valuable  though  irregular  rev- 
enue.^ The  great  treasure  of  the  prince  of  Gujarat  came  to 
Suleiman  after  the  prince's  death.*  Something  was  realized 
from  the  administration  of  the  estates  of  fief-holders  who  died 
without  sons;  but  the  lands  of  these  had  to  be  granted  again 
before  long  in  order  to  keep  up  the  strength  of  the  feudal  army.^ 
Fees  connected  with  the  administration  of  justice  went  directly 
to  the  support  of  the  judges  and  other  officials  concerned.^ 
With  regular  taxation  nearly  stationary,  the  increase  from  extra- 
ordinary sources  did  not  keep  pace  with  advancing  expendi- 

Suleiman's  expenses  grew  particularly  in  regard  to  the  fleet 
and  the  household.  Some  Western  writers  remarked  that  the 
sultan  was  put  to  no  expense  by  war,  since  his  standing  army 
required  to  be  paid  in  peace  as  well  as  in  war,  and  since  the 

^  Hammer,  Geschichle,  i.  167,  592. 

2  By  Kanun  of  Mohammed  II:  Hammer,  Slaatsverfassung,  99. 

3  Postel,  iii.  68. 

*  Hammer,  Ceschichte,  iii.  472.  ^  Hammer,  Geschichle,  i.  23/. 

6  Postel,  iii.  70.  '  Ibid.  iii.  471. 



remainder  of  his  troops  came  at  their  own  expense.'  It  is  true 
that  his  additional  expenditure  was  small  as  compared  with 
that  for  a  contemporary  Western  army,  built  from  a  small 
permanent  nucleus  by  the  hiring  of  mercenaries  and  the  levy 
of  national  troops  which  had  to  be  supported  by  the  treasury; 
but  the  sultan  had  to  replace  large  quantities  of  munitions  of 
war  that  were  used  up  or  destroyed,  and  great  numbers  of 
animals  of  transport.  Moreover,  the  Janissaries  and  Spahis 
had  to  be  placated  at  times  by  presents,  and  it  was  more  expensive 
to  feed  the  army  in  the  field  than  in  the  barracks.  But  the 
fleet  was  a  great  and  growing  expense,  despite  the  extent  to 
which  it  was  supported  by  raiding  and  by  revenues  from  North 
Africa;  ^  and  the  luxury  and  splendor  of  the  Magnificent  Sultan's 
court  grew  apace.  In  spite  of  fresh  conquests  and  large  confisca- 
tions, therefore,  Suleiman  learned  to  feel  the  need  of  money. 
He  found  it  necessary  to  compel  his  great  ofiicials  to  help  him,  by 
exacting  sums  of  money  from  them  at  the  time  of  their  appoint- 
ment.^ These  sums  were  moderate,  but,  as  already  pointed 
out,  they  set  a  fatal  example.** 

Suleiman's  Income 

Suleiman's  revenues  have  been  variously  estimated.  The 
lowest,  and  probably  the  most  accurate  for  the  field  which  it 
covers,  during  the  years  between  1530  and  1537,  is  that  given 
by  Junis  Bey,  chief  interpreter  of  the  Ottoman  court,  and  Alvise 
Gritti,  natural  son  of  the  Doge  of  Venice,  and  business  partner 
of  the  grand  vizier  Ibrahim.*  Junis  Bey  says:  "  The  income 
of  the  Great  Turk  from  khardj  or  tribute  amounts  to  1,300,000 
ducats  from  Anatolia  and  Greece,  and  1,600,000  ducats  from 
Egypt,  and  700,000  ducats  from  Syria  and  150,000  ducats  from 
Mesopotamia  and  250,000  ducats  from  his  farms,  the  islands 
which  are  under  him,  and  the  customs  of  Constantinople  and 
Pera.  Signor  Alvise  Gritti  says  that  the  income  is  rather  more 
than  less  than  I  have  stated,  and  I  think  that  the  expenses  of  the 

1  La  Broquicre,  182;  Ricaut,  404. 

*  Ricaut,  404. 

'  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  472. 

*  See  above,  pp.  115,  116. 

*  Postel,  iii.  49. 


Porte  or  of  the  Seigneur's  court  consume  the  entire  income  or  a 
little  less."  ^ 

The  total  regular  revenue  of  Suleiman  would  thus  have  been 
about  four  million  ducats.^  Two  estimates  made  twenty-five 
or  thirty  years  later  differ  notably,  however.  They  indicate 
about  half  as  much  revenue  from  Syria  and  Egypt,  allow  several 
times  as  much  from  the  farms  and  the  customs  duties,  and 
introduce  taxes  on  mines  and  salt  works,  tithes  paid  in  kind, 
the  animal  tax,  tributes,  escheats,  and  document  fees.^    Accord- 

^  Below,  p.  273. 

2  La  Broquiere,  182,  estimated  the  sultan's  revenue  in  1433  at  2,500,000 
ducats.  Chalcocondyles,  171,  overestimated  it  at  8,000,000  ducats  about  the 
year  1465.  Alvise  Sagudino  (quoted  in  Schefer's  edition  of  Spandugino,  p.  Iv) 
reckoned  it  in  1496  at  3,300,000  ducats;  Andrea  Gritti,  father  of  Alvise,  made 
it  5,000,000  in  1503  {ihid.  Iviii);  Spandugino's  estimate,  under  Bayezid,  was 
3,600,000  {ihid.  132).  Mocenigo,  54,  set  Selim  I's  income  at  3,130,000,  besides 
800,000  from  the  Persian  conquests,  all  spent  in  Persia.  Minio  (1522),  71, 
estimated  the  revenue  as  3,000,000.  Zeno  (1524),  95,  called  it  4,500,000,  and 
the  expenses  3,000,000.  Bragadin  (1526),  106,  says  that  the  treasury  had  an 
income  of  12,000,000,  of  which  the  siJtan  took  4,500,000  (the  larger  amount  would 
no  doubt  include  the  feudal  income).  Minio  (1527),  115,  states  the  income  as 
7,000,000.  Zeno  (1530),  121,  gives  6,000,000  or  more  for  the  income,  4,000,000 
for  the  expenses.  Giovio  {Connnejitaries,  73)  sets  the  revenue  at  6,000,000, 
and  the  expenses  at  4,000,000  or  5,000,000,  Postel,  iii.  68,  gives  4,000,000  on 
Alvise  Gritti's  authority,  though  he  apportions  it  differently  from  Junis  Bey. 
D'Ohsson,  vii.  258,  says  that  Suleiman's  revenues  rose  to  26,000,000  piasters. 
At  40  aspers  to  the  piaster  and  50  aspers  to  the  ducat,  this  gives  about  20,000,000 
ducats,  which  is  far  too  much. 

3  Navagero  (1553),  37-39,  estimates  7,166,000  ducats;  Trevisano  (1554), 
149-150,  says  8,196,000  ducats.  Navagero  seems  to  overestimate  the  mines 
(1,500,000  ducats)  and  the  duties  (1,200,000);  Trevisano's  estimate  of  2,000,000 
from  the  animal  tax  seems  unwarranted.  Erizzo  (1557),  130,  claims  to  give  an 
authentic  statement  of  the  sultan's  income  and  expenditure;  the  former  he  sets  at 
4,600,000  ducats  and  the  latter  at  3,600,000.  A.  Barbarigo  (1558),  150,  gives 
7,740,000  ducats  as  income  and  4,100,000  as  expenditure.  Donini,  190,  says 
that  after  great  efforts  he  knows  most  certainly  that  the  income  of  the  treasury  for 
1561  was  216,519,826  aspers,  or  4,330,396  ducats  and  26  soldi,  and  the  expenditure 
206,581,957  aspers,  or  4,131,639  ducats  and  7  soldi.  He  states  that  this  income  is 
less  by  400,000  ducats  than  usual,  because  of  the  prohibition  of  wine.  Erizzo  does 
not  include  the  tax  on  mines  and  salt  works,  and  the  income  from  Mesopotamia  and 
the  domain  lands,  in  his  list  of  sources  of  revenue;  and  Donini  does  not  specify  the 
sources.  Bernardo,  347,  says  that  the  income  in  his  time  of  service  (1584-87) 
was  9,000,000  ducats,  and  that  by  1592  it  was  10,000,000.  Knolles  (ed.  1687, 
p.  982)  estimates  the  sultan's  ordinary  revenues  about  1603  as  8,000,000.  This 
does  not,  however,  include  confiscations,  fines,  tribute,  customs,  booty,  etc.,  which 


ing  to  their  estimated  total  of  seven  or  eight  niilh'on  ducats, 
it  would  seem  that  a  million  ducats  ought  to  be  added  to  Junis 
Bey's  estimate  for  the  mines,  salt  works,  and  tributes,  and  a 
million  for  the  other  revenues  mentioned.  This  would  give  an 
estimate  of  six  million  ducats  for  Suleiman's  revenues  in  the 
early  part  of  his  reign.  Toward  the  close  of  his  reign,  after 
large  territories  in  Europe  and  Asia  had  been  incorporated,  and 
after  Rustem  had  made  new  arrangements,  the  total  amount 
was  probably  seven  or  eight  million  ducats.^  The  bullion  value 
of  six  million  ducats  is  less  than  fourteen  million  dollars.  If, 
then,  the  purchasing  power  of  money  be  estimated  at  five  times 
what  it  is  now,  the  regular  revenue  of  Suleiman's  government 
was  equivalent  to  less  than  seventy  million  dollars  nowadays, 
no  large  sum  for  so  great  an  empire.  It  is  necessary  to  remember, 
however,  that  this  by  no  means  covers  all  the  expenses  for  public 
purposes  within  the  empire.  It  probably  includes  none  of  the 
revenues  devoted  to  the  Moslem  Institution,  nor  those  specifi- 
cally assigned  by  feudal  grant  to  the  officers  of  local  government; 
certainly  it  does  not  include  those  gathered  by  the  permanent 
fief-holders  and  used  for  their  own  support,  which  probably 
amounted  to  about  twice  as  much  more.^    Allowing  for  all  this, 

Knolles  (p.  983)  believed  to  exceed  the  ordinary  revenue.  Hammer,  Slaats- 
verwalluug,  170,  gives  oflicial  figures  for  a  hundred  years  hiter  (1660) :  the  income  of 
the  treasury  tlien  was  600,000,000  aspers,  or  11,000,000  to  12,000,000  ducats  at 
sixteenth-century  valuations;  capitation  was  nearly  2,000,000,  land  tax  about  as 
much,  mines  1,000,000,  etc. 

1  The  extensive  notes  given  above  show  clearly  that  from  1433  to  1660  there  was 
a  progressive  increase  in  the  sultan's  income,  as  measured  in  aspers  or  ducats. 
Brosch  (in  Camhridge  Modern  History,  iii.  130)  accuses  Suleiman  of  raising  by 
taxation  double  the  amount  exacted  by  Mohammed  II,  and  thus  bringing  undue 
pressure  to  bear.  This  statement  fails  to  take  account  of  the  fact  that  Suleiman's 
empire  was  about  double  that  of  Mohammed  11 's  in  area,  population,  and  wealth. 
Also  it  seems  to  have  been  the  case  that  the  value  of  gold  and  silver  fell  greatly  after 
the  discovery  of  the  American  mines  (Day,  135).  If  these  etTects  were  felt 
promptly  in  the  Levant,  Suleiman's  income  in  the  last  years  of  his  life  may  have  had 
little  more  purchasing  power  than  Mohammed  II's.  Distributed  over  a  wider 
area,  the  pressure  of  taxation  in  iiis  lime  may  easily  have  been  lighter  than  it  was 
three  generations  before. 

2  Postel,  iii.  67,  says  that  it  docs  not  include  the  Ulnars.  He  says  (iii.  16S) 
that  some  call  the  total  revenue  12,000,000  ducats,  in  which  they  must  include 
the  income  of  the  fief-holders.    Eragadin,  106,  says  that  the  income  is  12,000,000. 


the  sum  total,  the  equivalent  of  perhaps  two  hundred  million 
dollars,  for  all  the  expenses  of  central  and  local  government 
was  small  in  proportion  to  population,  according  to  modern 
standards.  Had  there  been  no  extortion,  the  people  of  the 
empire  would  not  have  been  burdened  heavily.  Even  with  it, 
as  indicated  already,  they  probably  did  not  suffer  greatly  in 
Suleiman's  time.^ 

The  Nishanji  or  Chancellor 

The  chancery  department  of  the  Ottoman  government  seems 
not  to  have  reached  such  a  stage  of  development  in  the  sixteenth 
century  as  had  the  treasury  department;  certainly  it  was  not  so 
conspicuous.  Contemporary  writers  give  so  little  information 
about  it  that  it  is  hard  to  draw  a  reasonably  complete  picture 
of  it.  They  mention  several  of  the  officials  who  were  prominent 
in  the  department  in  later  times;  but  evidently  those  of  the 
earlier  period  were  not  under  the  same  relationships  to  each 
other  as  were  later  ones  who  bore  the  same  titles.  The 
Nishanji-bashi,  often  called  simply  the  Nishanji,  was  clearly 
the  chief,  but  other  details  are  not  easily  to  be  ascertained. 
It  seems  necessary,  therefore,  to  describe  the  Ottoman  chancery 
as  it  was  two  centuries  after  Suleiman's  death,  and  then  to 
endeavor  to  conjecture  what  it  was  in  his  time.^ 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  eighteenth  century  the  Ottoman 
government  had  three  ministers  of  state  and  six  under-secre- 
taries  of  state.  The  three  ministers  were  the  Kiaya-bey,  the 
Chaush-bashi,  and  the  Reis  Effendi,  the  last  named  being  by  far 
the   most   important.     The   Kiaya-bey  was   the   substitute   or 

Ramberti  (below,  p.  261)  estimates  it  at  15,000,000,  of  which  5,000,000  goes  into 
the  treasury  and  10,000,000  remains  for  the  "  servants  of  war." 

1  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  472;  and  see  above,  p.  144  and  note  2. 

2  Accounts  are  given  in  D'Ohsson,  vii.  159-172,  and  in  Hammer,  Staatsverwalt- 
ung,  101-137.  References  to  the  Nishanji  are  found  in  Spandugino,  99;  Mena- 
vino,  168;  Ramberti,  below,  p.  248;  Ludovisi,  14;  Navagero,  94;  Trevisano,  ir8; 
Garzoni,  430;  Junis  Bey  (below,  p.  266)  and  Postel,  iii.  63,  speak  of  a  Teskereji- 
bashi,  giving  a  description  which  applies  exactly  to  the  Nishanji  as  represented  by 
contemporaries.  Since  the  word  means  merely  "  chief  of  document- writers,"  it 
refers  without  doubt  to  the  Nishanji. 


lieutenant  of  the  grand  vizier,  and  attended  especially  to  affairs 
of  the  interior  and  of  war;  under  him  were  a  number  of  officials 
who  formed  connecting  links  between  the  grand  vizier  and  the 
various  groups  of  kullar  in  the  household  and  the  army.  The 
Chaush-hashi  was  at  the  same  time  second  official  in  the  grand 
vizier's  court  of  justice,  minister  of  police,  introducer  of  ambas- 
sadors, grand  marshal  of  the  court,  and  chief  of  the  Chaushes. 
To  assist  him  in  the  execution  of  these  varied  functions,  he  had  a 
large  number  of  under  officers  and  clerks.  The  Reis  EJJendi, 
whose  full  title  was  Reis  ul-KhuUab,  "  Chief  of  the  Men  of  the 
Pen,"  was  minister  of  foreign  affairs,  secretary  of  state,  and 
chancellor.  In  the  first  capacity  he  was  prominent  in  inter- 
national relations;  in  the  second  he  was  responsible  for  the 
preparation  of  the  addresses  and  reports  which  the  grand  vizier 
made  to  the  sultan;  in  the  third,  he  was  head  of  the  three  bureaus 
of  the  chancery.  In  charge  of  these  under  him  were  a  Beylikji, 
or  general  director  of  the  three  bureaus,  a  Terjuman  Divani 
Humayun,  or  chief  interpreter,  and  an  Ameji,  who  drew  up  the 
grand  vizier's  reports  to  the  sultan  for  the  inspection  of  the 
Reis  Effendi. 

Of  the  three  bureaus,  the  Beylik  Kalemi  prepared,  recorded, 
or  transmitted,  as  was  proper  in  each  case,  Kanuns,  treaties, 
and  all  firmans  that  did  not  concern  the  treasury  department. 
The  Tahvil  Kalemi  prepared  the  diplomas  of  governors,  of  judges 
of  large  towns,  and  of  fief-holders.  The  Rims  Kalemi  made  out 
certificates  for  the  clerks  of  all  bureaus,  for  Kapuji-hashis,  pro- 
fessors in  endowed  colleges,  administrators  of  religious  endow- 
ments, pensioners  on  the  treasury  or  on  rehgious  benefactions, 
and  soldiers  of  the  auxiliary  corps  of  the  regular  army.  Together 
the  three  bureaus  kept  employed  about  one  hundred  and  fifty 
clerks  of  three  grades,  provided  for  by  fiefs.  The  NishanjVs 
sole  duty  was  to  authenticate  firmans  sent  to  the  provinces, 
by  tracing  at  the  head  of  each  document  the  sultan's  tughra, 
or  official  signature.  He  had  no  influence  on  the  conduct  of 
business,  but,  as  evidence  of  past  greatness,  he  ranked  above 
even  the  Reis  Effendi  on  ceremonial  occasions.^ 

*  Hammer,  Slaatsverwaltung,  133. 


The  under-secretarles  were  attached  by  pairs  to  the  ministers. 
The  Teshrifatji,  or  master  of  ceremonies,  and  the  Kiaya  Katihi, 
or  private  secretary,  of  the  Kiaya-hey  were  attached  to  the 
Kiaya-bey.  The  greater  and  lesser  Teskerejis,  or  masters  of 
petitions,  were  attached  to  the  Chaush-hashi.  The  Beylikji, 
mentioned  above  as  head  of  the  three  bureaus  of  the  chancery, 
and  the  Mektuhji,  or  private  secretary  of  the  grand  vizier,  in 
which  office  he  was  assisted  by  a  bureau  of  thirty  clerks,  were 
attached  to  the  Reis  Efe^idi. 

It  is  evident  that  all  the  functions  of  the  officials  and  bureaus 
described  above  must  have  been  performed  in  some  fashion  in 
the  time  of  Suleiman.  The  conservative  character  of  Turkish 
institutions  simphfies  the  problem  of  determining  how  they 
were  performed.  It  has  been  seen,  partly  by  external  and  partly 
by  internal  evidence,  that  the  bureaus  of  the  treasury  depart- 
ment persisted  from  the  time  of  Mohammed  II  to  the  end  of  the 
eighteenth  century  with  few  changes.  Accordingly,  the  infer- 
ence may  fairly  be  made  that  the  same  was  true  of  the  chancery 
department.  Moreover,  the  chief  officials  of  the  later  date  are 
mentioned  in  sixteenth-century  writings,  among  them  the 
Kiaya  of  the  grand  vizier,  the  Chaush-bashi,  and  the  Reis  Effendi; 
Junis  Bey  held  the  position  of  chief  interpreter;  ^  and  the  duties 
of  Suleiman's  master  of  ceremonies  must  have  been  important. 
The  great  change  in  the  chancery  in  the  interval  was  the  decline 
of  the  Nishanji  from  the  highest  place  in  the  department  to  one 
of  httle  importance,  and  the  rise  of  the  Reis  Effendi  from  a 
subordinate  place  to  the  top.  From  of  old  the  Nishanji  had  had 
the  duty  of  affixing  the  sultan's  signature  to  documents;  but  in 
early  Ottoman  days,  when  the  pen  was  of  very  little  consequence 
in  comparison  with  the  sword,  he  had  been  held  in  small  esteem. 
He  was  responsible,  however,  for  the  accurate  and  legal  formula- 
tion of  the  papers  which  he  signed;  and  as  the  nation  grew  his 
importance  increased,  till  by  the  sixteenth  century  he  had 
become  a  great  official,  clearly  the  head  of  the  chancery  depart- 
ment, and  the  recipient  of  a  large  salary.  A  description  of 
about  the  year  1537  says  of  the  Nishanji:  "  There  is  a  Teskereji- 

^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  54. 


hashi,  who  has  the  duty  of  engrossing  the  ordinances  and  com- 
mands of  the  prince  and  the  court,  when  it  has  transmitted  them 
to  him,  and  is  like  a  general  secretary  of  the  commands,  or 
recorder  of  the  documents  of  the  prince,  which  are  called  Tes- 
kereh;  and  it  is  also  his  duty,  in  consultation  with  the  pashas, 
to  revise  the  writings  and  take  care  that  they  contain  no  ambig- 
uous expressions,  as  though  he  were  a  keeper  of  the  seals. 
The  present  occupant  of  the  office  has  seven  thousand  ducats 
of  revenue  from  fiefs,  and  a  large  number  of  slaves,  and  other 
lesser  recorders  who  also  prepare  commands,  licenses,  safe- 
conducts,  and  other  letters  as  there  may  be  need.  These  are 
paid  here  for  their  trouble,  and  they  may  receive  three  or  four 
hundred  livres.  It  is  said  that  the  present  [Nishanji]  is  so 
just  a  man,  that  he  has  never  in  his  life  received  a  sou  from  any 
one  with  whom  he  has  transacted  business."  ^ 

The  Reis  Effendi  was  at  that  time,  it  would  seem,  little  more 
than  recording  secretary  of  the  Divan.^  The  reasons  for  the 
later  change  in  the  relative  importance  of  these  two  officials 
probably  lay  in  the  withdrawal  of  the  sultan  into  his  inner  palace, 
and  the  development  of  foreign  relations.  As  the  sultan  became 
more  sequestered,  the  Nishanji's  personal  relation  to  him  was 
gradually  cut  off;  for  the  same  reason  the  grand  vizier  came  to 
be  more  heavily  burdened,  and  left  more  responsibility  on  the 
Reis  Effendi.  Beginning  with  Suleiman's  reign,  relations  with 
the  Western  European  nations  became  ever  closer  and  more 
complicated.  Cared  for  in  his  time  by  the  grand  viziers  Ibrahim, 
Rustem,  and  Ali,^  they  were  entrusted  in  later  reigns  to  the  Reis 
EJfendi.  Presently,  then,  this  official  displaced  the  Nishanji  at 
the  head  of  the  chancery,  and  the  latter  was  gradually  reduced 
almost  to  the  functions  of  a  name-stamp.  Aside  from  this 
important  difference,  and  the  general  fact  that  the  business  of 
the  chancery  was  not  so  extensive  in  Suleiman's  time  as  it  became 

*  Postel,  iii.  63.     See  also  Ramberti,  below,  p.  248. 

'^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  229,  iii.  796.  The  first  Reis  EJfendi  whose  name  is 
known  was  Haider  Effendi,  executed  in  1525  on  the  charge  of  promoting  an  uprising 
of  the  Janissaries.  The  office  is  mentioned  in  the  Kanun-nameh  of  Mohammed  II 
(Hammer,  Slaatsverfassimg,  90). 

'  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  126  ff.;  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  passim. 


later,  and  that  the  functions  of  separate  officials  had  not  come 
to  be  so  rigidly  defined,  the  inference  may  be  made  that  the 
description  of  the  late  eighteenth  century  holds  good  generally 
of  the  Ottoman  chancery  of  the  sixteenth  century. 

Little  evidence  appears  as  to  the  status  of  the  personnel  of 
the  treasury  and  chancery  departments.  The  upper  officials 
were  drawn  from  the  quieter  and  more  studious  members  of  the 
school  of  pages;  ^  in  the  time  of  Mohammed  II  the  Nishanji 
might  be  drawn  from  the  ranks  of  the  Ulema?  Junis  Bey 
refers  to  the  employees  of  the  bureaus  sometimes  as  slaves  and 
sometimes  as  companions  or  scribes.  They  were  paid  not  in 
money  but  by  fiefs.  Near  the  close  of  Suleiman's  reign,  it  is 
said,  the  chancery  clerks  were  Turks,  whereas  they  had  been 
Christians  and  Greeks  not  long  before,  and  had  written  their 
documents  in  Greek.^  Whether  or  not  this  be  true,  the  books 
of  the  treasury  department  had  been  kept  in  Turkish  from  the 
first;*  but  it  does  not  follow,  of  course,  that  the  clerks  of  this 
department  had  always  been  Ottomans,  or  that,  if  they  werf, 
they  had  been  regularly  either  Moslem-born  or  renegades. 
The  general  reasons  which  led  the  sultan  to  build  the  Ruling 
Institution  out  of  slaves  in  its  other  aspects  would  tend  to 
operate  here  also;  on  the  other  hand,  the  nature  of  the  work 
demanded  persons  of  quiet  tastes  and,  for  many  positions, 
those  of  considerable  learning  in  language  and  law,  and  suck 
persons  were  more  easily  to  be  found  in  the  Moslem-born  popula- 
tion than  among  the  Christian  subjects  or  renegades.  It  would 
seem  that  in  Suleiman's  time,  or  shortly  before,  the  personnel 
of  the  chancery  changed  from  Christian-born  to  Moslem-born. 
Naturally,  then,  the  personnel  of  the  treasury  would  have 
been  likely  to  undergo  a  similar  transformation  at  the  same  time. 

It  has  been  said  that  when  Turks  dismount  from  their  horses, 
they  become  bureaucrats  and  paper-scribblers.^    Undoubtedly 

'  Ricaut,  57.  2  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  90. 

^  Trevisano  (1554),  118.     Morosini  (1585),  266,  says  that  the  employees  of  the 
chancery  were  then  native  Turks. 

*  Hammer,  Geschichle,  i.  35. 

*  Cahun,  Inlroduction,  82,  speaking  of  Turks  of  the  steppe  lands:    "  Des  qu'ils 
descendaient  de  cheval,  c'etaient  des  barbares  bureaucrates  et  paperassiers." 


the  Ottoman  government  gave  evidence  of  the  truth  of  this 
statement.  The  twenty-five  bureaus  of  the  treasury  and  the 
appended  bureaus,  the  three  bureaus  of  the  chancery,  the  treas- 
uries and  chanceries  of  Beylerbeys  and  Sanjak  Beys,  the  offices 
of  the  generals  of  cavalry  and  infantry,  and  of  the  Umena  and 
other  household  officials  without  and  within,  contained  some 
thousands  of  men  whose  whole  time  was  occupied  in  writing, 
recording,  and  transmitting  laws,  ordinances,  diplomas,  nomina- 
tions, projects,  deeds,  grants,  orders  for  pay,  receipts,  reports, 
addresses,  petitions,  answers,  and  the  like.  The  existence  of 
so  many  component  institutions,  connected  only  at  the  top  and 
paralleling  each  other's  activities  both  near  and  far,  together 
with  the  custom  of  verifying,  authenticating,  and  recording 
many  papers  in  different  bureaus  and  by  different  officials, 
created  a  vast  and  growing  amount  of  red  tape  that  in  time  was 
greatly  to  hinder  all  government  business.  Even  in  Suleiman's 
day  it  seems  to  have  been  the  practice  on  the  part  of  clerks  and 
officials  to  demand  a  private  fee  for  each  act  of  writing  or  signing 
or  stamping  or  recording  or  approving  or  inspecting.^  In  the 
time  of  prosperity,  however,  this  practice  can  hardly  have  been 
so  vexatious  and  dilatory  as  it  became  later.  The  bureaucratic 
tendency  was  no  doubt  based  on  a  desire  to  keep  everything  in 
order  by  checks  and  cross-recording;  but  in  the  end  it  defeated 
its  object  by  employing  such  a  multiphcity  of  devices  that  order 
was  lost  in  confusion. 

The  Divan  or  Council  ^ 

In  a  land  where  the  law  was  nearly  fixed,  and  where  whatever 
power  of  legislation  was  allowed  was  definitely  lodged  in  one 
man,  the  only  deliberation  possible  was  on  administrative  and 
judicial  subjects.  The  oversight  of  these  matters  was  given  in 
charge  to  a  council,  the  Divan,  which  held  long  sessions  four 

'  Spandugino,  185. 

2  The  Divan,  as  it  was  about  1800,  is  described  in  D'Ohsson,  vii.  211-232;  and 
in  Hammei,  Staatsverwaltung,  412-436.  Contemporary  references  are  Menavino, 
169;  Postel,  i.  122;  Navagero,  93;  Trevisano,  117;  Garzoni,  430.  Zinkcisen,  iii. 
117-125,  has  pictured  the  Divan  in  the  sixteenth  century. 


times  each  week  throughout  the  year  in  time  of  peace,  unless 
perhaps  in  the  month  of  fasting.  This  council  was  composed 
of  ex  officio  members  who  represented  (when  those  who  came 
only  on  special  days  are  added  to  those  who  came  each  day) 
all  the  great  component  parts  of  the  Ruling  Institution.  The 
Moslem  Institution  also  was  represented  in  the  two  Kaziaskers; 
for  the  grand  vizier  and  the  Divan  constituted  not  only  the 
supreme  council  of  administration  but  the  supreme  court  of  the 
empire.  It  was  thus  not  strictly  a  part  of  the  RuHng  Institution, 
but  rather  the  cap-stone  of  both  institutions,  the  body  that 
gave  final  unity,  immediately  under  the  sultan,  to  the  organiza- 
tion of  the  empire. 

In  former  times  the  sultan  had  presided  at  the  Divan.  Sulei- 
man did  not,  and  he  has  been  greatly  blamed  for  discontinuing 
the  custom.^  It  is  not  impossible  to  sympathize  with  him, 
however,  for  he  thus  freed  himself  from  a  great  burden ;  to  spend 
several  hours  in  deliberation  on  four  days  of  each  week  during  a 
lifetime  is  a  prospect  from  which  any  man  would  shrink.  Never- 
theless, it  was  a  serious  rift  in  both  of  the  great  institutions  of 
the  empire  at  the  most  dangerous  place,  and  its  effect  v/as 
decidedly  to  hasten  their  disintegration.  Suleiman  kept  the 
Divan  under  control  by  means  of  a  grated  window  in  the  wall 
of  the  room  where  it  met.-  Not  knowing  when  he  might  be 
listening  there,  his  councillors  had  always  to  speak  as  if  he  were 
present  with  them. 

The  arrival  of  the  councillors  at  the  hall  of  the  Divan,  their 
entry,  their  places  for  sitting  or  standing,  their  rank  at  the  simple 
meal  of  which  they  partook  while  there,  the  order  of  their  going 
in  to  audience  with  the  sultan  afterward,  and  the  manner  of  their 
departure,  were  all  according  to  Kanun  or  equally  rigid  custom. 
At  a  later  time  the  details  of  these  ceremonies  were  all  minutely 
specified.^    Probably  they  were  not  so  elaborate  in  the  time  of 

^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  489.  This  is  the  first  of  the  reasons  given  by  Kochi 
Bey  for  the  decline  of  the  empire  after  Suleiman. 

2  Postel,  i.  123;  Trevisano,  119;  Garzoni,  431.  D.  Barbarigo,  32,  gives  an 
instance  in  which  Suleiman  made  use  of  this  means  of  information,  and  in  conse- 
quence ordered  the  execution  of  the  grand  vizier  Achmet. 

^  Hammer  (Slaatsverwaltung,  412-436)  gives  them  with  great  exactness. 


Suleiman,  but  contemporary  writings  show  them  already  con- 
siderably developed. 

The  sessions  of  the  Divan  have  been  described  so  often  that 
it  is  not  necessary  to  go  into  detail  here.  Soon  after  sunrise 
on  Saturday,  Sunday,  Monday,  and  Tuesday  the  ofificials  who 
were  to  participate  came  to  the  palace,  accompanied  by  their 
secretaries,  ushers,  body-guards,  and  other  attendants.  They 
passed  the  second  gate  of  the  palace  in  the  inverse  order  of  rank, 
and  waited  at  their  prescribed  places  in  the  hall  of  the  Divan 
until  the  grand  vizier  approached,  accompanied  by  his  retinue, 
when  all  came  out  and  took  places  according  to  rank  in  two 
lines,  between  which  the  grand  vizier  entered.  Those  who  had 
the  right  then  followed  him  in  by  pairs,  and  once  more  took 
their  places.'  Officials  who  might  be  summoned  waited  in  ante- 
chambers near;  and  attendants,  guards,  and  soldiers,  stood  at 
suitable  distances. 

The  grand  vizier  sat  Turkish  fashion  in  the  middle  of  a  long 
sofa  which  extended  round  three  sides  of  the  hall.  On  his  right 
sat  the  other  viziers  (unless  one  or  more  happened  to  be  absent 
on  a  special  mission),  and  beyond  them,  on  the  sofa  at  the  end 
of  the  room,  the  Nishanji.  On  the  grand  vizier's  left  were  the 
two  Kaziaskers,  and  beyond  them  the  Defterdars.-  The  Bey- 
lerbeys  of  Anatolia  and  Greece,  and,  after  Barbarossa's  appoint- 
ment, the  Kapudan  Pasha,  sat  beyond  the  viziers  on  the  right. 
The  Agha  of  the  Janissaries  also  had  a  place,  and  the  chief 
interpreter  was  often  needed.  Other  generals  and  high  officials 
might  be  summoned;  heads,  officials,  and  clerks  of  bureaus 
were  at  hand;  and  Chaushes,  Kapuji-bashis,  and  Kapujis  were 
in  readiness  to  be  sent  on  errands  and  missions.  Before  the 
grand  vizier,  when  judicial  business  was  being  considered,  stood 

*  In  the  time  of  Mohammed  II  a  procession  was  formed  by  the  members  of  the 
Divan,  the  men  of  the  lowest  rank  in  front,  and  the  grand  v-izicr  last.  On  reaching 
the  door  of  the  hall,  the  lesser  ofliciais  stopped  and  separated  into  two  lines,  between 
which  the  grand  vizier  advanced.  The  greater  officials  followed,  so  that  the  hall 
was  entered  in  the  order  of  rank.     See  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  225. 

*  From  the  Kauiin  of  Mohammed  II:  Hammer,  Slaatsvcrfassuui^,  89.  .-\ali 
(used  by  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  225)  gives  a  different  arrangement,  which  can 
hardly  have  been  correct. 


the  Teskerejis,  or  masters  of  petitions.     On  the  floor  at  his  left 
sat  the  Reis  Effendi.     The  Kapujilar-kiayasi,  or  grand  chamber- 
lain of  the  household,  was  present;    and  the  Chaush-bashi,  as 
grand  marshal  of  the  court,  here  bearing  the  additional  title 
of  Bey  of  the  Divan,  saw  that  all  went  according  to  rule.     After 
greetings  and  other  formalities  the  business  was  taken  up  in  order 
of  importance.^     Great  questions,  like  proposals  of  ambassadors, 
the  condition  of  the  provinces,  and  the  possibility  or  desira- 
bility of  war  were  discussed  briefly  by  the  viziers,  the  others 
present  being  called  upon  to  speak  if  their  views  were  desired. 
The  grand  vizier  either  declared  the  decision  on  such  matters, 
subject  to  the  sultan's  approval,  or  reserved  the  decision  for  the 
master.-    Lesser  matters  were  decided  by  the  viziers  individually, 
or  were  referred  by  them  to  the  other  great  officials  present,  or 
to  an  ofiicial  in  attendance  outside.     Much  of  the  time  there  was 
no  general  deliberation,  but  several  affairs  might  be  considered 
by  different  members  of  the  Divan  simultaneously.     Lawsuits 
were  presented  to  the  grand  vizier  by  the  masters  of  petitions, 
and  the  parties  might  appear  to  plead  their  own  cases,  bringing 
witnesses.     The  grand  vizier   turned   over  many   cases  to  the 
Kaziaskers.     All  business  was  done  with  despatch,  and  a  large 
amount  was  accomplished.     Decisions  were  briefly  formulated, 
without  discussion  of  the  reasons  for  action.     The  Reis  Effendi 
and  lesser  secretaries  and  clerks  wrote  down  carefully  all  that 
was  decided  upon.     After  the  sultan  had  signified  his  approval 
at  the  close  of  a  Divan,  the  decisions  were  irrevocable. 

During  and  also  at  the  close  of  the  session,  which  might  last 
seven  or  eight  hours,^  a  simple  meal  of  bread,  meat,  rice,  fruit, 
and  water  was  served  to  all  who  were  in  attendance  within  and 
without  the  haU  of  the  Divan.  To  meet  the  expense  of  this, 
four  days'  pay  was  reserved  each  year  from  the  salaries  of  all 
who  were  expected  to  attend.'*  Order  was  kept  most  carefuUy 
among  all  who  were  present  within  and  without  the  hall  of  the 
Divan,  and  absolute  silence  was  preserved,  except  for  such 
movements  and  conversation  as  were  necessary  to  the  transac- 

^  Postel,  1*.  123.  '  Postel,  i.  123. 

*  Garzoni,  431.  *  Garzoni,  431. 


tion  of  business.  Any  disturber  of  order  and  quiet  was  taken 
away  and  immediately  bastinadoed. 

After  the  day's  work  was  done,  which  might  be  about  noon 
in  summer  time  or  toward  sunset  in  the  winter,  those  officials 
of  the  Divan  who  had  the  right  of  audience  went  to  the  hall  of 
audience  to  meet  the  sultan.  They  were  the  viziers,  Kaziaskers, 
and  Deflerdars  regularly,  and  the  Beylerbeys  and  the  Agha  of  the 
Janissaries  when  they  had  business;  ^  the  Deflerdars,  however, 
received  audience  on  Sundays  and  Tuesdays  only.  The  Kazi- 
askers entered  first,  and  when  their  business  had  been  approved 
they  went  to  the  gate  and  held  court.  The  Beylerbeys,  the 
Deflerdars,  and  the  viziers  entered  the  audience  chamber  together. 
The  Beylerbeys  transacted  their  business  and  departed;  the 
Deflerdars  did  likewise,  and  went  to  the  door  of  the  treasury  to 
give  audience.  The  ordinary  viziers,  left  behind  in  the  presence 
of  the  sultan,  usually  said  nothing  unless  asked;  the  grand 
vizier  alone  reported  on  the  decisions  of  the  day.-  These  the 
sultan  usually  approved  as  made,  sometimes  mitigating  a  deci- 
sion or  himself  dictating  a  reply  to  an  ambassador.^  Suleiman 
was  willing  to  give  a  free  hand  to  Ibrahim,  Rustem,  and  Moham- 
med SokoUi  during  their  long  periods  of  service.* 

In  time  of  war  the  Divan  was  held  in  the  grand  vizier's  tent, 
which  was  usually  pitched  near  the  sultan's.  As  all  the  high 
officials,  and  the  heads  of  bureaus  with  at  least  part  of  their 
clerks,  were  present  with  the  army,  much  the  same  ceremony 
could  be  gone  through  with  as  in  the  capital.  When  the  sultan 
was  absent  from  the  city  on  campaigns,  the  few  officials  of 
government  who  were  left  behind  held  a  secondary  Divan  on 
Saturdays  and  Sundays.  In  case  of  emergency  during  war-time, 
or  for  some  other  special  reason,  a  Divan  might  be  held  on  horse- 

The  Divan  of  Suleiman  was  a  splendid  ceremony,  and  it 
transacted  a  great  amount  of  administrative  and  judicial  busi- 

*  Hammer,  Staatsverfassung,  89;  Trevisano,  1 18-1 19. 

2  Navagcro,  98;  D.  Barbarigo,  26.     See  also  above,  p.  164  and  note  3. 

*  Postel,  i.  123. 

*  Trevisano,  120.     See  above,  p.  164. 
^  Zinkeisen,  iii.  125;  Tiepolo,  164. 


ness.  A  large  proportion  of  the  duties  of  the  principal  officials 
was  attended  to  in  its  sessions  rather  than  in  private  offices; 
and  on  particular  matters  there  was  a  certain  amount  of  delibera- 
tion, though  the  Ottomans  were  not  a  people  of  many  words. 
The  Divan  was  by  no  means  a  legislative  chamber.  It  was  in  a 
sense  a  combination  of  a  president's  cabinet  and  a  supreme 
court;  ^  yet  it  was  unlike  both.  Its  presiding  officer  was  ap- 
pointed; all  its  decisions  required  the  approval  of  the  sultan, 
who  was  not  present  at  its  sessions;  and  all  its  members  were 
responsible  to  him  for  good  behavior  on  penalty  of  their  Hves. 
It  was  the  highest  court  in  the  land,  yet  not  so  much  a  court  of 
appeal  as  a  court  of  first  instance.  It  had  no  power  to  judge  the 
validity  of  laws;  yet  it  was  not  restricted  in  its  jurisdiction, 
since  it  had  cognizance  of  all  civil  and  criminal  cases  that  might 
be  presented  to  it  from  any  part  of  the  empire.  In  its  judicial 
aspect,  again,  its  decisions  had  no  validity  without  the  approval 
of  the  sultan.  With  all  its  limitations,  however,  it  was  of  great 
value  to  the  Ottoman  government.  Below  the  sultan,  but  above 
all  institutions  of  the  empire,  it  bound  together  at  the  top  the 
Ruling  Institution  and  the  Moslem  Institution,  and  it  united 
similarly  all  the  component  divisions  of  each;  it  was  the  pivot 
from  which  were  suspended  all  the  separate  parts  of  the  despoti- 
cally constructed  government.  In  it  met  the  ablest  men  of  the 
empire,  chosen  by  selection  after  selection,  each  one  charged 
with  great  responsibilities  and  possessing  power  to  execute 
without  delay  what  might  be  agreed  upon.  The  Divan  was 
excellently  adapted  to  the  general  Ottoman  system.  It  enabled 
the  ruler,  with  a  minimum  of  care,  to  keep  the  closest  control 
over  every  part  of  the  empire  through  extremely  intelhgent 
and  capable  agents,  who  were  bound  to  him  by  gratitude,  self- 
interest,  ambition,  and  fear.  It  was  a  training-school  of  judges, 
administrators,  and  statesmen,  since  men  ordinarily  rose  from 
place  to  place  among  its  offices  as  they  gained  experience;  here 

1  Heidbom,  141:  "  Le  divan  etait  a  la  fois  une  sorte  de  Conseil  d'Etat,  ou  se 
discutaient  les  affaires  politlques  importantes,  et  une  Cour  supreme  autorisee  a 
evoquer  tout  litige  devant  elle  et  a  connaitre  notamment  des  proces  entre  Ottomans 
et  etrangers  qui  depassaient  la  valeur  de  3000  aspres." 


they  imparted  ideas  and  methods  to  each  other,  and  made  their 
abihties  known  to  the  highest  officials,  the  grand  vizier  and  the 
sultan,  with  whom  lay  the  power  of  promotion.  Nor  was  the 
Divan  wholly  destitute  of  legislative  influence.  All  Kanuns 
were  issued  in  the  sultan's  name  and  after  his  definite  approval; 
yet  the  information  on  which  they  were  based  must  regularly 
have  come  through  members  of  the  Divan,  and  members  of  the 
Divan  with  their  subordinates  must  certainly  have  drawn  them 
up  and  revised  them  into  shape.  ControUing  administration 
and  justice  and  influencing  legislation,  the  Divan,  under  the 
leadership  of  the  grand  vizier,  governed  the  Ottoman  Empire 
for  the  sultan. 

The  Ruling  Institution  as  a  Whole 

That  which  for  want  of  a  better  name  has  been  called  in  this 
treatise  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution  has  now  been  discussed 
in  all  its  general  aspects.  Space  has  been  lacking  for  the  presen- 
tation of  many  details,  though  the  attempt  has  been  made  to 
introduce  all  such  as  would  give  necessary  evidence  or  useful 
illustration.  A  few  statements  intended  to  summarize  and  bind 
together  what  has  been  said  will  complete  the  discussion  of  the 

The  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution  was  in  its  most  essential 
aspect  a  government  for  the  Ottoman  Empire.  In  this  respect 
its  form  was  a  despotism,  centered  in  one  man,  the  sultan.  Yet 
the  despotism  was  greatly  circumscribed  by  a  rigid  constitutional 
law,  which  was  firmly  grounded  in  strong  religious  belief  and 
intense  national  conservatism.  This  law  held  the  sultan  within 
limited  functions,  but  at  the  same  time  it  gave  him  his  right  to 
rule.  As  a  government  under  this  law,  the  Ottoman  Ruling 
Institution  maintained  public  order,  defended  the  empire  against 
its  enemies,  and  endeavored  by  conquest  to  enlarge  its  possessions 
and  with  them  the  domain  of  the  Sacred  Law.  A  large  propor- 
tion of  its  energies  was  devoted  to  obtaining  and  distributing  the 
means  of  its  own  support,  to  keeping  its  own  machinery  in  order, 
and  to  maintaining  its  authority  within  the  empire.  The  idea  of 
labor  for  the  public  welfare  or  of  efTort  toward  progress  was  not 


present.  Change  came,  not  by  conscious  striving  toward  better- 
ment, but  by  growth,  development,  and  decay,  the  effects  of 
which  were  adjusted  when  it  became  necessary.  But  within  such 
limits,  there  was  in  the  sixteenth  century  a  distinct  desire, 
founded  on  consciousness  of  greatness,  pride  of  power,  and 
loyalty  to  Islam,  to  have  the  government  well-ordered  and 
intelUgently  directed,  and  to  cause  it  to  bear  upon  its  subjects 
as  evenly  and  lightly  as  possible.  Suleiman  laid  hold  of  many 
problems  which  had  arisen,  and  through  the  agency  of  his  ablest 
servants  strove  to  set  his  house  in  order.  That  he  did  not  suc- 
ceed in  accompHshing  more  permanent  results  was  due  to  the 
fact  that  the  task  was  too  great  for  any  man.  The  institution 
was  too  artificial  to  endure  indefinitely. 

The  whole  institution  kept  itself  in  power,  and  defended  and 
enlarged  the  empire,  by  being  organized  as  an  army.  With 
exceptions,  all  its  officers  of  government  were  soldiers  and  all 
its  army  officers  had  governmental  duties.  It  constituted  a 
standing  army  of  cavalry  and  infantry,  aided  by  artillery, 
commissary,  and  transport  services;  and  it  controlled  a  much 
larger  feudal  and  irregular  army.  Through  the  feudal  army  it 
kept  the  country  in  subjection.  By  garrisons  it  held  the  towns 
quiet.  In  case  of  rebellion,  it  threw  a  great  force  upon  the 
insurgents,  and  beat  them  down  with  cruel  and  resistless  energy. 
For  foreign  wars  it  gathered  an  enormous  but  well-controlled 
host,  which  was  victorious  in  battle  throughout  the  reign  of 
Suleiman.  It  took  by  siege  Belgrade  and  Rhodes,  but  it  failed 
at  Vienna  and  Malta.  The  weakness  of  the  Ruling  Institution 
as  an  army  was  its  essential  indivisibility.  Only  one  great 
war  could  be  waged  at  a  time,  although  there  were  great  enemies 
in  two  directions ;  hence  an  overwhelming  defeat  of  the  principal 
army  would  have  been  irreparably  disastrous.  But  the  army 
was  to  suffice  for  a  long  period;  and  for  generations  its  worst 
foes  were  to  be,  not  foreign  armies,  but  internal  rivalries  and 
departures  from  its  constitutive  principles. 

To  maintain  the  pomp  and  ceremony  which  are  attached 
to  the  idea  of  an  empire,  especially  in  the  East,  and  to  supply 
the  sultan  on  a  large  scale  with  all  the  enjoyments  which  were 


considered  due  to  his  state,  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution 
was  in  another  aspect  a  great  court  and  household.  Nearly- 
all  its  members  shared  in  the  display  of  grand  occasions,  many- 
went  to  the  hunt  with  the  sultan,  and  a  large  proportion  of  them 
had  constant  duties  of  ceremonial  and  personal  service.  Sulei- 
man was  known  as  the  Legislator  and  the  Conqueror,  but  beyond 
both  these  titles  as  the  Magnificent;  he  shone  as  head  of  the 
government  and  the  army,  but  still  more  as  head  of  the  court. 
Splendor  and  luxury,  however,  are  expensive,  and  in  the  end 
his  example  was  to  be  ruinous. 

All  the  members  of  the  Ruling  Institution  were  set  off  as  a 
nobility  by  exemption  from  taxation  and  by  special  jurisdiction; 
but,  lest  they  might  prove  a  danger  tp  the  institution,  they  were 
not  allowed  to  transmit  their  nobility  to  their  descendants. 
In  the  end,  however,  their  special  privilege  was  to  become  so 
desirable  that  the  walls  of  separation  would  be  invaded  and  the 
institution  would  be  wrecked. 

The  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution,  at  once  the  government, 
the  army,  and  the  nobihty  of  a  great  nation,  was  at  the  same 
time  a  genuine  slave-family.  Almost  all  its  members  were 
recruited  as  slaves  and  remained  slaves  throughout  their  days; 
their  Hves  and  their  property  were  at  the  disposal  of  the  sultan; 
they  must  obey  without  hesitation,  as  all  slaves  must  obey. 
Yet  their  condition  was  far  from  being  miserable.  Their  slavery 
conveyed  no  taint:  one  of  them  might  be  married  to  a  protegee 
or  even  a  daughter  of  the  great  master;  their  children  would 
never  be  reproached  because  of  the  father's  status.  It  was  an 
honor  to  be  the  sultan's  kul.  Vast  wealth  and  almost  royal 
power  and  rule  might  be  theirs;  yet  each  member  of  the  RuHng 
Institution  was  actually  a  slave. 

The  most  characteristic  feature  of  this  institution  lay  in  the 
fact  that  its  recruits  were  almost  all  drawn  from  children  (born 
within  or  without  the  empire)  of  Christian  parents,  and  that 
before  they  were  advanced  they  were  expected  to  become  IMo- 
hammedans.  A  twofold  motive  lay  beneath  this  poHcy,  —  a 
desire  to  obtain  single-hearted  servants  and  to  increase  the 
number  of  believers  in  the  Mohammedan  faith.     Sons  of  these 


converts  were  sometimes  admitted  to  the  Ruling  Institution, 
but  their  grandsons  practically  never.  Thus  a  constant  stream 
of  the  ablest  and  fittest  Christian  children  who  were  born  in  or 
near  the  Ottoman  dominions  were  brought  into  the  Ruling 
Institution,  the  Ottoman  nation,  and  the  Mohammedan  fold. 

The  next  most  characteristic  and  the  most  abiding  feature 
of  the  Ottoman  Ruhng  Institution  was  its  educational  quality. 
The  Christian  slaves  were  all  acquired  while  young,  and  were 
trained  with  the  greatest  care  to  become  useful  members  of  the 
institution,  each  in  the  capacity  for  which  nature  had  best 
fitted   him.     They  were  pro\dded  with   an   education  which, 
if  not  so  general  or  so  advanced  as  the  usual  training  of  modern 
times,   was   more   nearly   complete.     Body   and   mind,   social, 
moral,  and  religious  nature,  all  received  attention.     The  imme- 
diate object  of  this  education  was  to  fit  the  boys  for  the  sultan's 
service  in  war  and  government;   but  they  were  also  trained  to 
adorn  his  ceremonies  and  his  court,  and  to  live  by  the  principles 
and  in  the  faith  of  Mohammed.     When  they  were  first  admitted, 
their  training  was  more  or  less  like  that  in  schools  of  an  industrial, 
military,  and  cultural  character;    but  it  did  not  stop  with  the 
attainment    of    majority.     Army,    household,    bureaus,    local 
government,  and  Divan,  all  were  conducted  much  like  schools. 
Strict  disciphne  was  constantly  maintained,  slackness  was  se- 
verely punished,  and  industry  and  abihty  were  richly  rewarded. 
The  results  were  well-nigh  incredible;  they  constitute  a  wonder- 
ful demonstration  of  how  little  the  human  spirit  is  limited  by  the 
ignorance  or  the  restricted  and  humble  Hfe  of  ancestors.     With 
hardly  an  exception,  the  men  who  guided  Suleiman's  empire 
to  a  height  of  unexampled  glory  were  sons  of  peasants  and  herds- 
men, of  do\vntrodden  and  miserable  subjects,  of  unlettered  and 
half-civilized  men  and  women.     It  is  not  easy  to  decide  which 
is  more  to  be  admired,  the  ability  by  which  such  young  men  rose, 
or  the  confidence  with  which  they  were  chosen  and  expected 
to  rise.     If  these  men  had  not  really  risen,  if  they  had  remained 
boorish,  ignorant,  and  narrow,  though  elevated  to  high  position 
and  authority,  the  facts  would  be  less  remarkable  than  they  are. 
The  evidence  is,  however,  that  they  really  became  educated, 


cultured,  and  polished  men:  to  this  day  their  descendants  have 
a  manner  and  charm  that  can  rarely  be  found  among  Western 
peoples.  It  is  much  easier  to  understand  the  whole  process  and 
its  results  in  a  modern  democratic  age  and  land  than  it  was  in 
feudal  Europe  of  the  sixteenth  century.  The  Ottoman  Ruling 
Institution  was  from  start  to  finish  ingeniously  contrived  to 
develop  its  members,  within  the  limits  of  its  purposes,  to  their 
utmost  capacity.  Great  authority,  great  position,  great  financial 
rewards,  were  offered.  Great  punishments  were  not  far  away 
from  those  who  might  prove  dangerous,  treacherous,  or  even 
incompatible  and  ineflicient. 

As  a  result  of  its  careful  selection  and  training  of  men  for 
society,  war,  and  government,  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution, 
allowing  for  all  imperfections  of  structure,  was  a  very  efficient 
and  permanent  entity.  It  was  later  to  endure  terrible  shocks 
and  losses  without  destruction;  it  was  to  suffer  a  partial  separa- 
tion of  its  component  institutions  into  hostile  bodies,  and  to 
witness  serious  departures  from  its  rules  and  principles.  But, 
despite  attack  from  without  and  disintegration  and  decay  within, 
it  long  stood  firm;  and,  together  with  its  dissimilar  companion, 
the  Moslem  Institution  of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  it  has  kept  the 
vital  spark  of  that  empire  alive  for  more  than  two  centuries 
after  extinction  began  to  be  thought  imminent.  Even  today 
its  abiding  spirit  gives  promise  of  lighting  a  new  and  very  different 
torch,  which,  having  burned  away  the  limitations  and  imper- 
fections that  caused  the  ruin  of  the  older  institution,  will  yet 
be  the  brighter  for  preserving  a  democratic  faith  in  the  capacity 
of  the  able  individual,  and  a  disposition  to  help  him  forward  by 
education  and  to  trust  him  with  all  the  responsibility  that  he 
is  able  to  bear.  Most  features  of  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution 
cannot  live  in  the  twentieth  century.  Despotism,  military 
rule,  personal  privilege,  excessive  imperial  splendor,  prosely- 
tism,  and  slavery  have  been  dethroned  in  favor  of  political 
and  religious  liberty,  equality,  fraternity,  separation  of  church 
and  state,  and  government  by  the  people.  But  the  idea  of  an 
education  which  will  develop  the  individual  to  the  full  extent 
of  his  capacities  is  thoroughly  modern;    and  the  disposition  to 


entrust  high  offices  to  those  who,  without  regard  to  ancestry, 
are  the  ablest,  and  who  become  by  their  own  efforts  and  by 
carefully  supervised  training  the  best  equipped,  is  in  advance 
of  the  ordinary  practice  of  Western  democracies.  Herein  lies 
one  of  the  strongest  elements  of  hope  for  the  future  of  the  new 
Turkey,  which  may  thus  preserve  continuity  with  the  past. 

The  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution,  still  thus  capable  of  imparting 
valuable  ideas,  was  in  its  halcyon  days  a  thing  of  immense 
moment  in  the  world.  Out  of  carefully  selected  but  most 
heterogeneous  materials  it  had  built  itself  up  as  a  firm,  strong, 
and  simple  structure,  which  had  gathered  a  chaotic  mass  of  petty 
states  and  hostile  peoples  into  a  great  and,  by  comparison,  a 
well-governed  and  durable  empire.  In  the  reign  of  the  great 
Suleiman  no  human  structure  existed  which  equalled  this  institu- 
tion in  wealth,  splendor,  power,  simpHcity  and  rapidity  of  action, 
and  respect  at  home  and  abroad. 



General  Description 

In  a  survey  of  the  institutional  history  of  the  Ottoman  Empire, 
a  study  of  the  complex  organization  which  was  based  upon  and 
inspired  by  the  Mohammedan  religion  would  demand  as  large 
a  space  as  that  given  to  the  Ruling  Institution.  In  a  discussion 
of  the  government  of  the  empire,  however,  a  much  briefer  treat- 
ment will  suffice.  The  Moslem  Institution  as  a  whole  will 
be  sketched  rapidly;  fuller  consideration  will  be  given  to  its 
juristic  and  judicial  features,  which  especially  affected  and 
entered  into  the  government  of  the  nation. 

The  structure  of  the  Moslem  Institution  of  the  Ottoman  Em- 
pire, as  of  the  corresponding  institutions  in  all  Moslem  lands, 
was  and  remains  to  the  present  time  wholly  different  from  that 
of  any  of  the  Christian  ecclesiastical  organizations.  As  a  mere 
church  it  claimed  far  less  place  and  influence  than  they  do,  but 
in  other  aspects  it  reached  out  far  more  widely.  It  included 
all  those  Mohammedans  in  the  Ottoman  Empire,  outside  of  the 
Ruling  Institution,  who  were  in  any  way  lifted  above  the  level 
of  the  ordinary  believer.  Islam  recognized  no  organized  priest- 
hood, no  aristocracy,  and  no  monks;  yet  the  Ottoman  Moslem 
Institution  possessed  groups  that  were  much  like  each  of  the 
three.  In  addition  it  had  a  graded  educational  system,  with  a 
graded  corps  of  teachers,  it  contained  a  hierarchy  of  jurist- 
theologians,  and  it  supplied  a  classified  body  of  judges,  whose 
combined  jurisdictions  covered  the  whole  empire.  That  which 
all  persons  who  constituted  this  institution  had  in  common 
was  a  special  relationship  to  the  Mohammedan  religion,  some- 
times based  on  birth  or  piety,  but  usually  established  by  intel- 
lectual training  in  connection  with  the  Book  and  the  Law  of 
Islam.  In  contrast  with  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution,  the 
Moslem  Institution  cannot  as  a  whole  be  regarded  under  several 



aspects.  Like  the  former,  it  included  component  institutions; 
but  these  all  grew  up  from  the  Mohammedan  population  and 
rested  on  one  broad  base,  instead  of  being  extended  downward 
from  the  top.  At  the  same  time,  the  sultan  was  the  head  of  this 
institution,  whether  it  be  considered  as  a  whole  or  in  reference 
to  each  of  its  component  institutions.  He  and  his  government 
appointed  its  most  influential  personages,  maintained  careful 
oversight  of  its  financial  support,  and  kept  record  of  the  appoint- 
ments of  all  its  members  who  shared  in  this  support.  The  two 
great  institutions  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  were  therefore  joined 
together  at  the  top,  and,  as  will  appear,  they  touched  at  every 
other  level  both  in  financial  and  in  governmental  relations. 

The  fundamental  difference  of  the  two  institutions  lay  in 
the  fact  that  the  members  of  the  RuHng  Institution  were  drawn 
almost  exclusively  from  Christian  families,  and  the  members 
of  the  Moslem  Institution  even  more  exclusively  from  Moham- 
medan families.  While  it  is  likely  that  the  majority  of  the 
Mohammedan  famihes  had  sprung  from  Christian  ancestors 
not  many  generations  back,  it  is  also  true  that  Islam  acts  rapidly 
upon  the  spirit  of  converts.  Accordingly  the  two  institutions 
were  very  differently  constituted.  Between  them  arose  a 
rivalry  of  tendency  and  influence  which  was  to  become  extremely 
harmful  to  the  Ottoman  state. 

In  this  treatise  the  financial  side  of  the  Moslem  Institution 
will  be  considered,  the  four  great  groups  of  its  membership  will 
be  discussed  in  the  proportion  of  their  relation  to  the  govern- 
ment, and  some  attention  will  be  given  to  the  institution  as  a 

Financial  Support  of  the  Moslem  Institution  ^ 

As  already  stated,  a  large  proportion  of  the  land  of  the  Otto- 
man Empire,  perhaps  one-third,^  was  set  aside  as  vakf,  or  rehgious 

1  Although  this  and  other  features  of  the  Moslem  Institution  will  be  spoken  of 
throughout  this  chapter  in  the  past  tense,  much  that  is  mentioned  remains  in 
existence  in  Turkey  at  the  present  time.  The  vakfs  are  discussed  at  length  in 
D'Ohsson,  ii.  437-567;  and  more  briefly  in  Belin,  La  Propriete  Foncicre,  74-104. 
Heidbom,  306  ff.,  gives  a  well-analyzed  account;  and  on  p.  306,  note  245,  he 
mentions  additional  authorities. 

2  Ricaut,  213. 


endowment.  Much  of  this  had  been  so  devoted  by  sultans, 
and  in  such  cases  the  imperial  treasury  could  use  for  its  own 
purposes  none  of  the  revenue  or  income  from  these  lands.  Other 
parcels  of  land  had  been  set  apart  by  private  individuals,  in 
these  instances  the  treasury  receiving  for  its  own  use  the  same 
revenues  as  before  the  endowment,  while  the  surplus  income 
from  the  land  was  devoted  to  the  purposes  specified  by  the  giver. 
Each  tract  of  such  land  was  by  the  original  act  of  endowment 
assigned  to  a  particular  object,  and  a  Muteveli  or  administrator 
and  a  Nazir  or  inspector  were  appointed  to  take  care  of  it.  In 
a  large  proportion  of  cases  a  high  ofificial  of  the  government  or 
household,  such  as  the  grand  vizier,  the  Mufti,  the  Kapic  Agha, 
or  the  Kizlar  Agha,  was  put  in  charge  ex  officio  in  one  or  the  other 
capacity,  on  the  theory  that,  being  near  the  person  of  the  sultan, 
he  would  be  subject  to  constant  control.  In  course  of  time  the 
Kizlar  Agha,  the  grand  vizier,  and  the  Mufti  found  it  necessary 
to  organize  the  properties  under  their  charge  by  holding  private 
Divans  of  the  subordinate  administrators  and  inspectors,  and  by 
appointing  Mufettishes,  or  special  judges,  each  with  a  staff  of 
subordinates  and  traveUing  inspectors.^ 

Although  every  tract  of  land  was  assigned  for  a  definite  object 
and  placed  under  specified  guardians,  the  vakfs  were  a  matter 
of  pubhc  record,  and  the  accounts  of  all  were  kept  by  the  treasury 
department  in  the  appropriate  bureaus.  The  subjects  who  lived 
on  vakf  lands  seem  to  have  been  better  treated  than  those  on 
lands  of  other  sorts,  just  as  in  the  West  in  the  Middle  Ages  the 
serfs  of  the  church  were  often  better  off  than  other  serfs.-  There 
were  three  classes  of  vakfs,  —  the  regular  vakfs  of  the  mosques, 
the  vakfs  for  charitable  purposes,  and  the  customary  vakfs  of 
the  mosques.  The  last  were  chiefly  in  the  nature  of  investments 
of  the  funds  of  the  mosques,  and  were  according  to  Kanun 
rather  than  Sheri.^  In  the  second  class  were  included  endow- 
ments of  schools,  libraries,  hospitals,  bridges,  fountains,  caravan- 

^  D'Ohsson,  ii.  540. 

2  Ricaut,  217.     D'Ohsson,  ii.  532,  expresses  a  different  opinion. 
'  Interest  was  allowable  on  the  funds  belonging  to  mosques,  though  otherwise 
forbidden:  Ricaut,  218;  D'Ohsson,  ii.  550. 


serais,  public  baths,  convents  for  dervishes,  and  the  like.  The 
narrow  provision  of  the  Ruling  Institution  for  public  service 
was  in  this  way  supplemented.^  The  first  class  deserves  further 

The  chief  material  unit  in  connection  with  the  Moslem  Institu- 
tion was  the  mosque.  Each  great  mosque  was  a  large  house  of 
worship,  with  a  group  of  smaller  institutions  clustered  about  it, 
such  as  colleges,  law  schools,  hospitals,  insane  asylums,  and  soup- 
kitchens.  For  the  support  of  these  and  of  all  persons  who  con- 
ducted them,  the  income  from  the  vakjs  of  the  mosque  was 
appUed.  In  many  cases  the  lands  which  had  belonged  to  Chris- 
tian churches  before  the  Ottoman  conquest  were  assigned  as 
vakJs  for  the  support  of  the  mosques  into  which  the  churches 
were  converted.  For  example,  the  grounds  of  the  sultan's 
principal  palace  had  belonged  to  the  church,  and  were  assigned 
as  vakf  to  the  mosque  of  Aya  Sofia.  When  Mohammed  II  took 
them  for  his  palace  he  pledged  a  revenue  of  one  thousand  and 
one  aspers  a  day  to  the  great  mosque."  This  church  was  one 
of  eight  in  the  city  of  Constantinople  which  were  so  treated.^ 
The  revenue  of  Aya  Sofia  was  estimated  at  two  hundred  thousand 
ducats  a  year.^  The  income  of  the  principal  mosques  being 
much  larger  than  the  expenses,  a  considerable  portion  of  the 
surplus  was  used  by  the  guardians  for  their  own  benefit,  although 
they  were  supposed  to  receive  no  compensation,  but  to  labor 
for  the  love  of  God.  The  fact  is  that  many  of  the  sultan's 
kullar  provided  an  inheritance  for  their  sons  and  descendants 
by  setting  apart  for  specific  purposes  lands  in  vakf,  of  which  the 
desired  persons  should  be  administrators,  it  being  clearly  under- 
stood that  a  portion  of  the  income  should  be  retained  by  them.^ 
The  remainder  of  the  surplus  was  held  in  a  special  treasury  by 
the  appropriate  bureaus,  or  was  reinvested  in  customary  vakfs, 
or  was  lent  to  the  government.     The  vakfs  as  a  whole  supported 

^  See  below,  p.  234,  note  i. 
"^  Ramberti,  below,  p.  243;  Ricaut,  215. 
^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  237. 

^  Ricaut,  215.      In  D'Ohsson's  time  (ii.  538)  it  was  estimated  at  1,000,000 
aspers.     Nicolay,  68,  says  that  it  had  been  300,000  ducats  before  the  conquest. 
*  Morosini,  267;  Zane,  406;  Heidborn,  309. 


all  the  official  members  of  the  Moslem  Institution,  except  that 
the  judges  derived  much  of  their  income  from  fees  and  fines. ^ 
The  treasury  department  received  and  controlled  all  the  revenues 
from  vakfs,  and  paid  from  the  appropriate  funds  all  who  were 
duly  certified  as  recipients  of  salaries  and  pensions. 

All  the  Ulema,  in  connection  with  their  support  from  semi- 
public  funds,  possessed  the  noble  privilege  of  immunity  from 
taxation.  Since  the  rendering  of  justice  was  in  their  hands, 
they  had  their  own  justice.  In  addition,  their  property  was  not 
subject  to  confiscation;  and,  since  they  were  not  kullar,  it  passed 
by  inheritance  to  their  relatives  and  never  to  the  sultan.  All 
these  privileges  gave  the  learned  class  in  the  Ottoman  Empire 
the  prestige  of  nobility,  besides  great  financial  advantage.^ 

The  Educational  System 

Like  the  Ruling  Institution,  the  Moslem  Institution  contained 
and  embodied  an  educational  system  which  was  of  its  essential 
structure.  Through  it,  from  the  time  of  Mohammed  II,  the 
great  majority  of  the  members  of  the  institution,  including  all 
who  expected  promotion,  were  required  to  pass;  accordingly, 
they  bore  as  a  body  the  name  of  the  Ulema,  or  learned  men.^ 
The  schools,  supported  by  vakfs  and  attached  to  mosques,  were 
in  three  grades:  the  mektebs  or  primary  schools,  known  in  the 
sixteenth  century  as  okimiak-yerleri  or  reading-places;  the 
ordinary  medressehs  or  colleges;  and  the  higher  medressehs  or 
law  schools,  of  university  grade.  The  mektebs  taught  Arabic 
reading  and  writing  and  the  Koran ;  the  medressehs  gave  a  course 
of  ten  studies  resembling  the  Seven  Arts  of  the  West;  ^  the  law 

^  Mohammed  II  fixed  these  fees:  for  example.  7  aspers  for  sealing  a  document, 
12  for  a  signature,  32  for  the  marriage  contract  of  a  virgin,  15  for  that  of  a  widow, 
etc.     See  Hammer,  Slaalsverfassung,  100. 

2  D'Ohsson,  iv.  599. 

'  The  Ulema  and  other  members  of  the  Moslem  Institution  are  described  in 
D'Ohsson,  iv.  482-686.  Hammer,  Staatsverwaltitng,  372-412,  gives  a  summary  of 
D'Ohsson 's  treatment.  Heidborn,  208-210,  describes  the  educational  system 

*  The  ten  studies  were  grammar,  syntax,  logic,  metaphysics,  philology,  tropics, 
stylistics,  rhetoric,  geometry,  and  astronomy:  Hammer,  Geschkhtc,  ii.  238. 


schools  taught  the  group  of  sciences  connected  with  the  Koran 
and  the  Sheri  and  including  both  law  and  theology.^ 

There  was  no  compulsory  education;  nor  could  the  system, 
by  reason  of  the  individual  character  of  its  foundations,  be 
universal  for  Mohammedan  children,  But  it  may  be  supposed 
that  any  Moslem  parent,  the  inhabitant  of  a  town  of  some  size, 
who  desired  his  son  to  learn  the  rather  difiEicult  art  of  reading 
and  writing  Turkish  and  Arabic,  or  even  to  enter  upon  a  learned 
career,  was  not  devoid  of  an  opportunity.  Furthermore,  where 
primary  schools  existed  the  instruction  was  free,  and  some 
students  were  even  fed  and  lodged ;  ^  the  students  in  the  med- 
ressehs  were  also  partially  supported,  and  those  in  the  law 
schools  received  a  sufficiency.  This  system,  which  dated  back 
at  least  to  the  twelfth  century  in  Moslem  lands,  probably  in  the 
Ottoman  Empire  in  the  sixteenth  century  gave  better  opportunity 
for  education  to  Moslem  boys  than  was  afforded  to  Christian 
children  in  any  land  until  a  much  later  date.  The  Ottomans 
believed  thoroughly  in  education;  but,  unfortunately,  their 
conservatism  was  in  course  of  time  to  turn  a  beneficent  institu- 
tion into  a  harmful  one.  No  change  of  consequence,  either  in 
methods  of  teaching  or  in  subjects  of  study,  was  permitted 
from  century  to  century;  hence  the  training  that  had  once 
carried  its  earnest  pupils  to  the  forefront  of  human  knowledge 
was  in  time  to  hold  them  firmly  at  a  stage  which  the  rest  of  the 
world  had  long  passed  through  and  left  far  behind. 

The  medressehs  were  very  numerous  in  the  empire;  ^  the  mosque 
of  the  Conqueror  had  eight,  that  of  Suleiman  five.  It  was 
Suleiman  who  set  the  gradations  of  the  system  in  their  final 

1  Among  these  studies  were  advanced  rhetoric  and  metaphysics,  dogmatics, 
civil  law,  exegesis,  jurisprudence,  oral  tradition,  and  written  documents  (Hammer, 
Ceschichte,  ii.  239).  All  schools  above  the  mektcbs  came  under  the  name  viedresseh. 
Heidbom  distinguishes  eight  classes  to  which  Suleiman  added  four  colleges  of  yet 
higher  degree.  His  implication  (p.  210,  note  5)  that  the  student  who  aimed  at  the 
highest  judgeships  must  study  through  eight  or  more  medressehs,  and  then  teach 
through  a  like  series,  can  hardly  be  correct,  since  the  ordinary  human  life  would  be 
too  short  for  such  a  double  round.  Probably  the  steps  of  progress  were  not  so 
precisely  regulated  or  so  numerous. 

2  D'Ohsson,  ii.  464. 

2  Hammer  (Geschichle,  ix.  145-163)  found  275  in  Constantinople  alone,  of  which 
50  had  been  founded  before  the  death  of  Suleiman. 


form.  All  who  aspired  to  any  official  position  in  the  Moslem 
Institution  must  pass  through  a  medresseh  of  some  degree. 
On  first  entering  they  were  called  Softas,  or  more  properly 
Sukhtas,  as  those  who  were  inflamed  with  the  desire  for  learning. 
The  students  were  in  different  grades,  but  there  seems  to  have 
been  no  fixed  number  of  years  of  study;  the  instruction  being 
largely  individual,  each  could  proceed  as  rapidly  as  he  was 
able.  On  finishing,  they  received  a  sort  of  master's  degree  and 
were  called  Danishmend,  which  appears  in  several  of  the  early 
sources  as  Talisman}  Such  students  as  were  content  to  teach 
primary  schools,  or  to  attend  to  ecclesiastical  duties,  needed  to 
study  no  longer. 

Those  who  aspired  to  become  jurists  or  judges  had  to  pursue 
a  long  course  in  law  in  the  higher  medressehs.  At  the  end  of  this 
time  they  were  examined  personally  by  the  Mufti,  or  chief 
jurist,  and  if  successful  they  were  dignified  with  the  title  of 
Muldzim,  or  candidate.  Those  who  did  not  aspire  to  the  higher 
judicial  positions  ended  their  preparation  at  this  point.  The 
more  ambitious  sought  appointment,  for  which  they  were  now 
qualified,  as  Muderisler,  or  professors,  in  medressehs  of  low  grade. 
The  Muderisler  received  large  salaries,  which  increased  as  they 
rose.  They  were  in  three  classes,  —  the  Muderisler  of  Con- 
stantinople, of  Adrianople  and  Brusa,  and  of  the  other  cities 
of  the  empire.  The  Muderisler  of  Constantinople  numbered 
about  four  hundred;  they  were  in  ten  grades,  distinguished 
according  to  the  subjects  which  they  taught.  Those  of  other 
cities  than  the  capital,  and  those  at  the  capital  who  did  not  pass 
through  all  the  grades,  became  either  jurists  or  judges  of  lesser 
degrees.  Those  who  wished  to  reach  the  higher  judgeships  were 
obliged  to  pass  through  all  ten  grades.  Since  this  was  so  long 
a  process  as  regularly  to  bring  a  man  to  gray  hairs  before  he 
reached  the  top,  the  rigid  grading  early  began  to  be  circumvented 
by  the  practice  of  inscribing  the  sons  of  Ulema  as  Muderisler 
while  they  were  very  young,  substitutes  being  hired  to  teach 
in  their  places.-    By  the  age  of  thirty  or  forty  they  would  thus 

'  Chalcocondyles,  53;  Ramberti,  below,  p.  244;  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  265;  etc 
'  D'Ohsson,  ii.  477;  Heidborn,  213. 


be  able  to  attain  high  position.  A  continuance  of  this  process, 
combined  with  the  immunities  and  privileges  of  the  Ulema, 
was  in  time  to  lead  to  great  accumulations  of  wealth  in  the  hands 
of  a  few  families,  who  would  be  able  to  keep  most  of  the  high 
judicial  offices  within  their  own  numbers. 

Clergy,  Seids,  and  Dervishes 

The  clergy  of  the  Ottoman  nation  were,  as  has  been  shown, 
of  no  great  education,  and  they  seem  to  have  possessed  less 
influence  than  the  priests  of  any  other  religion.^  They  were  in 
five  classes:  the  Sheiks,  or  preachers;  the  Khatihs,  or  leaders  of 
Friday  services;  the  Imams,  or  leaders  of  daily  services;  the 
Muezzins,  who  intoned  the  call  to  prayer;  and  the  Kaims,  or 
caretakers  of  the  mosques. 

The  Seids,  also  known  as  Emirs  or  Sherifs,  were  a  class  apart 
among  the  Ottomans.  They  were  not  properly  members  of  the 
Ulema,  unless,  like  others,  they  passed  through  the  schools; 
they  owed  their  distinction  rather  to  a  real  or  assumed  genealogy 
which  carried  their  ancestry  back  to  the  Prophet  Mohammed. 
They  alone  were  privileged  to  wear  a  green  turban.  They  were 
numerous;  but  the  claims  of  many  were  doubted,  and  some  of 
them  seem  to  have  possessed  reputations  that  were  far  from 
savory.^  They  constituted  the  only  hereditary  nobiUty  among 
the  Ottomans,  but  their  privileges  appear  to  have  been  personal 
rather  than  financial:  they  were  not  to  be  struck,  for  example, 
on  penalty  of  severe  punishment,  and  they  had  their  own  justice. 
Great  honor  was  shown  to  two  members  of  this  nobility,  descend- 
ants of  the  Prophet:  to  the  Mir-Alem,  the  sultan's  standard- 
bearer,  who  was  regularly  a  Seid,  and  had  precedence  of  all 
the  officers  of  the  army;  and  to  the  Nakih  ol-EsJiraf,  head  of 
the  Seids,  who  ranked  second  in  the  Moslem  Institution,  and 
at  the  ceremonies  of  Bairam  had  precedence  even  of  the  Mufti. 
The  Nakib  ol-Eshraf  was  appointed  by  the  sultan  for  fife;   that 

^  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  236:  "The  priesthood  proper  ...  is  perhaps  in  no 
other  state  of  less  influence,  but  the  teaching  body  is  in  no  other  kingdom 
(except  China)  of  greater  weight  and  political  importance." 

^  Ricaut,  211. 


member  of  the  Ulema  who  was  a  Seid  and  who  ranked  highest 
when  the  place  fell  vacant  was  ordinarily  chosen.  He  had  a 
staff  of  officers  and  clerks  in  the  capital  and  the  provinces,  and 
was  head  of  the  separate  jurisdiction  of  the  Seids.  Under  the 
sultan  he  held  despotic  authority  over  all  Seids;  and,  when 
the  sovereign  ordered  the  punishment  or  death  of  one  of  them, 
the  Nakib  ol-Eshraf  was  commissioned  to  carry  out  the  execu- 

Dervishes  also  were  not  members  of  the  Ulema.  They  were 
of  many  orders,  though  sixteenth-century  observers  seem  to 
have  been  impressed  with  but  four.^  They  represented  in  Islam 
the  monks,  the  hermits,  and  the  begging  friars  of  Christianity. 
Through  them  heresies  spread,  uprisings  were  concocted,  mobs 
were  gathered,  and  holy  war  was  preached.  On  more  than  one 
occasion  they  endangered  the  power  of  the  government.^  Many 
were  honest,  God-fearing  folk,  while  others  were  scarcely  more 
than  tramps  and  wandering  thieves. 

Clergy,  Seids,  and  dervishes  represented  the  merely  religious 
side  of  the  Moslem  Institution.  Islam  was  fundamentally  a 
rehgion  without  priests,  monks,  or  nobles;  and  these  persons 
never  grew  to  possess  permanent  influence  and  power  in  the 
Ottoman  state.^ 

Jurists  and  the  Mutti 

A  number  of  the  Ulema  who  had  finished  the  law  course, 
and  who  at  some  previous  time  had  chosen  to  become  counsellors 
and  jurists  rather  than  to  take  up  the  severer  and  more  active 
judicial  career,  constituted  a  distinct  body,  the  muftis,  who  were 
held  in  high  esteem.  One  of  these  was  assigned  as  associate 
to  the  judge  of  every  important  city,  to  the  number  of  about 
two  hundred  in  all,  while  others  were  counsellors  for  the  Bcylcr- 
beys  and  Sanjak  Beys.  Appointed  for  Ufe,  they  lived  in  retire- 
men  L,  having  no  initiative  of  action.  When  the  judge,  Bey, 
or  any  private  citizen,  confronted  by  a  case  or  other  matter 

^  Spandugino,  219;  Menavino,  72  fl.;  Nicolay,  121.     Ricaut,  261  £F.,  knew 
eight  or  ten  orders,  which  he  describes  at  some  length. 
-  Hammer,  Geschichte,  i.  154,  ii.  357,  iii.  67;  Postel,  i.  112. 
*  Heidborn,  269-274. 


which  involved  a  learned  knowledge  of  the  Sacred  Law,  sub- 
mitted to  one  of  them  a  question  in  writing,  usually  in  the  form 
of  a  hypothetical  case,  it  was  the  duty  of  the  mufti,  after  careful 
consideration  of  the  question  in  the  light  of  the  law  books  of 
the  school  of  Abu  Hanifa,  to  give  an  answer  that  apphed  the 
Sacred  Law  to  the  matter  concerned.  These  answers,  which 
were  called  fetvas,  were  usually  extremely  concise  and  unaccom- 
panied by  reasoning;  they  were  prepared  and  sealed  in  solemn 
form.^  When  a  judge  or  a  Bey  proposed  to  his  rmifti  a  question 
touching  a  pending  law  case,  the  muJtVs  response  ordinarily 
settled  the  case.  Private  citizens  who  obtained /etoa^  ordinarily 
did  so  to  help  their  causes  in  pending  law  suits;  here  again 
a  pertinent  question  and  answer  would  usually  settle  the  case. 
Since  there  was  no  class  of  professional  lawyers,  the  muftis  were 
a  necessary  and  very  useful  body. 

In  ordinary  cities  the  mufti  ranked  after  the  judge.  This 
was  not  the  case  in  Constantinople,  where  the  sultan  and  his 
ofhcers  of  government  frequently  had  questions  to  present 
which  touched  matters  of  the  highest  public  importance.  As  a 
consequence  the  mufti  of  Constantinople  became  par  excellence 
the  Mufti.  Mohammed  II  assigned  to  him  also  the  title  of 
Sheik  ul-Islam,  the  Ancient  of  Islam,  which  in  later  times  was 
to  become  his  ordinary  title.  The  Mufti  was  not  regularly 
chosen  from  among  his  fellows,  but  was  usually  advanced  by 
the  sultan  from  the  active  judicial  service.^  He  had  the  right 
to  appoint  and  promote  all  the  other  muftis  of  the  empire.  A 
special  bureau  called  the  Fetva-khaneh  was  created  by  Suleiman 
to  assist  the  Mufti  in  preparing  decisions. 

The  Mufti  was  definitely  constituted  by  Suleiman  the  head 
of  the  Ulema;  ^  and  as  such  he  outranked  all  officials  of  govern- 

^  Ricaut,  20I. 

2  In  Ricaut's  time  (p.  204)  one  of  the  Kaziaskers  was  regularly  chosen  for  this 

'  D'Ohsson,  iv.  500.  Heidbom,  215,  says  that  the  title  Sheik  ul-Islam  was  first 
bestowed  by  Murad  II  upon  the  mufti  of  Adrianople,  who  was  removed  to  Con- 
stantinople by  Mohammed  II  after  the  capture;  that  Mohammed  assigned  the 
title  Reis  ul-ulema,  or  chief  of  the  Ulema,  to  this  ofi&cer,  but  that  he  reached 
great  dignity  only  under  Suleiman. 


ment,  except  that  he  yielded  place  to  the  grand  vizier  on  ordinary- 
occasions.  He  was  almost  the  equal  of  the  sultan  himself,  since 
he  was  the  expounder  and  representative  of  the  Sacred  Law, 
which  was  above  the  sultan.  Bayezid  II  was  accustomed  to 
stand  to  receive  the  Mufti,  and  to  give  him  a  seat  above  his  own.^ 
Early  in  Suleiman's  reign  it  was  said,  "  The  Turk  shows  his 
[Mufti]  the  greatest  reverence  of  any  man  in  his  realm,  because 
he  represents  justice  and  the  image  of  God."  ^  Sixteenth-century 
Westerners  compared  the  Mufti  with  a  '*  very  great  cardinal," ' 
but  more  often  with  the  pope.'*  The  Mufti  had,  however,  no  tem- 
poral authority  and  no  active  part  in  affairs;  like  his  brethren  in 
lesser  cities,  he  could  give  responses  only  when  his  opinion  was 
asked.  He  could,  however,  rightly  be  compared  with  the  pope 
in  dignity  and  in  the  magnitude  of  the  matters  with  which  he 
dealt.  His  alone  was  the  right  to  proclaim  that  war  should  be 
begun,  and  to  send  out  preachers  to  declare  that  the  war  was  holy 
and  incumbent  on  all  Moslems.  He  was  frequently  consulted 
by  the  sultan  as  to  the  conformity  of  proposed  Kanuns  with  the 
Sacred  Law.^  In  his  hands  rested  the  extreme  responsibility 
of  pronouncing  that  a  sultan  had  transgressed  the  Sacred  Law 
and  ought  to  be  deposed.  In  short,  though  he  could  claim  no 
divinely  delegated  power  to  create  new  rules  of  faith  or  law,  he 
was  the  final  earthly  authority  in  the  interpretation  of  the 
Sacred  Law  as  completed  by  Mohammed  the  Prophet.  He 
exercised  a  function  similar  to  what  in  the  United  States  of 
America  is  the  highest  office  of  the  Supreme  Court,  —  the  power 
of  defending  the  Constitution.  In  this  capacity  the  Mufti 
often  withstood  the  sultan.  Urf  was  subordinate  to  Sheri,  and 
in  case  of  conflict  the  former  must  yield;  therefore  the  sultan, 
who  embodied  the  former,  could  not  override  the  Mufti,  who 
represented  the  latter.  A  century  after  the  time  of  Suleiman 
it  was  said :  — 

'  Spandugino,  113. 
2  Postel,  i.  118. 
■•  Spandugino,  112. 

*  La  Broquiere,  181;  Ramberti,  below,  p.  247;  GeufiFroy,  241;  Trcvisano,  122; 
Busbccq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  116;  Bernardo,  364. 
'  Heidborn,  216. 


"  The  Mufti  is  the  principal  head  of  the  Mahometan  Religion 
or  Oracle  of  all  doubtful  questions  in  the  Law,  and  is  a  person 
of  great  esteem  and  reverence  amongst  the  Turks;  his  Election 
is  solely  in  the  Grand  Signior,  who  chuses  a  man  to  that  Office 
always  famous  for  his  Learning  in  the  Law,  and  eminent  for  his 
vertues  and  strictness  of  Life:  his  Authority  is  so  great  amongst 
them,  that  when  he  passes  Judgment  or  Determination  in  any 
point,  the  Grand  Signior  himself  will  in  no  wise  contradict  or 
oppose  it.  .  .  . 

"  In  matters  of  State  the  Sultan  demands  his  opinion,  whether 
it  be  in  Condemnation  of  any  great  man  to  Death,  or  in  making 
War  or  Peace,  or  other  important  Affairs  of  the  Empire;  either 
to  appear  the  more  just  and  religious,  or  to  incline  the  People 
more  willingly  to  Obedience.  And  this  practice  is  used  in  busi- 
ness of  greatest  moment;  scarce  a  Visier  is  proscribed,  or  a 
Pashaw  for  pretence  of  crime  displaced,  or  any  matter  of  great 
alteration  or  change  designed,  but  the  Grand  Signior  arms 
himself  with  the  Mufti's  Sentence;  for  the  nature  of  man  reposes 
more  security  in  innocence  and  actions  of  Justice,  than  in  the 
absolute  and  uncontroulable  power  of  the  Sword.  And  the 
Grand  Signior,  tho  he  himself  is  above  the  Law,  and  is  the 
Oracle  and  Fountain  of  Justice,  yet  it  is  seldom  that  he  proceeds 
so  irregularly  to  contemn  that  Authority  wherein  their  Religion 
hath  placed  an  ultimate  power  of  Decision  in  all  their  Contro- 
versies." ^ 

The  power  of  the  Mufti  in  the  sixteenth  century  may  be 
illustrated  by  one  or  two  instances.  In  the  early  years  of  the 
century,  shortly  before  the  appearance  of  the  Reformation 
movement  in  Western  Europe,  the  Ottoman  Empire  was  threat- 
ened by  the  presence  of  large  numbers  of  heretics  in  Asia  Minor, 
simultaneously  with  the  rise  of  a  strong  Mohammedan  heretical 
power  in  Persia.  Selim  the  Grim  disposed  of  the  heretics  in  his 
dominions  by  wholesale  execution,^  and  punished,  though  he 
failed  to  crush,  the  Persians  by  the  defeat  of  Khaldiran  and  the 
annexation  of  a  large  part  of  their  territory.  After  he  had  got 
rid  of  Mohammedan  heresy  in  his  dominions,  he  was  impressed 

*  Ricaut,  200-202.  2  Hammer,  Geschichte,  ii.  401. 


with  the  absence  of  unity  occasioned  by  the  presence  of  the 
Christian  subjects.^  Accordingly  he  decided  to  order  all  these 
Christians  to  accept  Islam  on  pain  of  death.  To  say  that  he 
desired  to  execute  the  Christians  of  his  dominions  would  be  to 
put  the  emphasis  in  the  wrong  place.  He  seems  rather  to  have 
had  in  mind  such  a  process  as  was  carried  through  in  Spain 
in  the  course  of  the  sixteenth  century,  as  a  result  of  which  none 
were  left  in  that  land  who  professed  another  than  the  dominant 

But  here  the  Mufti  Jemali  intervened  decisively.  He  had 
readily  given  a  fetva  authorizing  the  extermination  of  the 
heretics  as  in  accordance  with  the  Sacred  Law,  and  he  was 
later  to  sanction  the  Persian  and  the  Egyptian  wars.  In  this 
case,  Selim,  it  is  said,  deceived  him  by  a  hypothetical  question 
into  giving  a  response  which  might  be  interpreted  to  authorize 
the  forcible  conversion  of  the  Christians.  After  the  order  was 
issued,  however,  Jemali,  awakened  to  the  situation,  put  the  Greek 
Patriarch  in  possession  of  a  sufficient  defence  by  showing  him 
that  the  Sacred  Law  provided  that  Christians  who  had  accepted 
Mohammedan  rule  and  agreed  to  pay  khardj  and  jizyeh  (land 
tribute  and  poll-tax)  were,  aside  from  certain  regulations,  to  be 
left  unmolested  in  the  exercise  of  their  religion.  This  provision 
the  Patriarch,  as  instructed  by  the  Mufti,  claimed  to  be  an 
irrevocable  and  eternal  compact;  therefore,  he  urged,  since 
Selim's  intention  was  contrary  to  it,  his  purpose  was  unlawful 
and  must  be  abandoned.  The  argument  prevailed,  and  the 
Christians  were  not  disturbed  as  to  their  faith. 

It  may  be  remarked  that  Sehm's  idea  was  an  excellent  one 
from  the  point  of  view  of  statesmanship,  and  would,  in  the  end, 
have  resulted  in  a  great  advantage  to  the  Moslem  Institution. 
As  pointed  out  in  the  first  chapter,  the  Christian  churches  in  the 
Ottoman  Empire  constituted  a  group  of  organizations  that  were 
parallel  and  rival  to  the  Moslem  Institution;  hence  their  removal 
would  have  left  it  a  free  field.  Whether  its  unopposed  action 
would,  in  the  long  run,  have  been  an  advantage  to  the  empire 
and  to  the  world  is  a  matter  for  speculation  which  would  be  out 

^  Ibid.  536  ff.;  Heidborn,  215,  note  16. 


of  place  here;  but  as  a  state  the  Ottoman  Empire  would  have 
been  notably  unified  by  the  clearing  away  of  these  institutions. 
They  were  old,  strong,  and  of  a  tenacious  vitahty;  in  them 
centered  the  hopes  and  aspirations  of  the  subject  Christians; 
while  they  persisted,  complete  amalgamation  of  the  population 
was  impossible ;  they  were  to  keep  ahve  a  sentiment  of  nationality 
and  separatism  that  three  centuries  later  was  to  break  off  great 
sections  from  the  empire.  It  seems  clear,  then,  that,  had  Sehm 
been  able  to  carry  out  his  purpose,  the  history  of  the  Levant 
since  his  time  would  have  been  very  different  from  what  it  has 
been.  But  the  Mufti,  as  guardian  of  the  Sacred  Law,  was  right. 
The  position  of  the  Christian  subjects  rested  on  a  firm  constitu- 
tional foundation.^  The  Prophet  Mohammed  himself,  nine 
centuries  before  Selim,  had  made  the  religious  and  social  unity 
of  the  Ottoman  Empire  forever  impossible.  He  had  also  made 
pohtical  unity  impossible  at  that  time;  for  in  the  sixteenth 
century  political,  apart  from  religious,  unity  was  not  understood 
in  either  the  East  or  the  West.  Only  in  the  twentieth  century 
was  Turkey  to  arrive  at  a  new  hope  of  political  unity  through  an 
attempt  to  remove  religious  differences  from  a  position  of  great 
influence  upon  the  state. 

Another  instance  of  the  MuftVs  power  occurred  in  the  reign  of 
Suleiman,  who,  as  a  willing  servant  of  the  Sacred  Law,  freely 
recognized  the  greatness  of  the  Mufti's  position.  The  Mufti 
Ebu  su'ud  was  one  of  the  most  distinguished  ornaments  of  the 
Legislator's  reign.  He  had  passed  through  all  the  stages  of 
advancement  among  the  Ulema,  and  had  been  Kaziasker  eight 
years  when  he  was  constituted  Mufti.  He  wrote  a  great  com- 
mentary on  the  Koran,  and  it  was  he  who  collected  the  best- 
known  Kanun-nameh  of  Suleiman.^  This  man  was  closely 
connected  with  one  of  those  sorrowful  events  which  made  the 

1  D'Ohsson,  V.  104  £f. 

2  See  Hammer,  Ceschichte,  iii.  278  ff.;  and  Appendix  III  below.  Heidbom, 
215,  contributes  further  details  as  to  the  great  Mufti's  advance  in  the  cursus 
honorum  of  the  Moslem  Institution.  He  shows  that  he  began  his  legal  studies 
at  27  years  of  age,  continued  them  until  his  45th  year,  was  made  Kazi  of 
Brusa,  then  of  Constantinople,  and  in  his  50th  year  (944  A.H.)  Mufti.  The  last 
statement  seems  to  be  erroneous;    for  Hammer  (as  above)  says  that  he  became 


reign  of  Suleiman,  great  as  it  was  in  victory,  splendor,  and 
learning,  equally  great  in  tragic  ruin  of  hope.  Suleiman  must 
have  passed  through  many  hours  of  torturing  indecision  before  he 
determined  upon  the  execution  of  his  eldest  son,  Mustapha; 
and  in  so  great  a  matter  he  needed  to  consult  the  guardian  of  the 
Sacred  Law.  The  story  of  the  part  which  the  Mujli  played 
shall  be  told  by  Busbecq,  who  appears  for  the  last  time  in  the 
pages  of  this  treatise:  — 

"  Solyman  had  brought  with  him  [to  Amasia,  where  he  joined 
the  army]  his  son's  death  doom,  which  he  had  prepared  before 
leaving  home.  With  a  view  to  satisfying  religious  scruples,  he 
had  previously  consulted  his  mufti.  This  is  the  name  given  to 
the  chief  priest  among  the  Turks,  and  answers  to  our  Pope  of 
Rome.  In  order  to  get  an  impartial  answer  from  the  mufti,  he 
put  the  case  before  him  as  follows:  —  He  told  him  that  there  was 
at  Constantinople  a  merchant  of  good  position,  who,  when  about 
to  leave  home  for  some  time,  placed  over  his  property  and  house- 
hold a  slave  to  whom  he  had  shown  the  greatest  favour,  and 
entrusted  his  wife  and  children  to  his  loyalty.  No  sooner  was 
the  master  gone  than  this  slave  began  to  embezzle  his  master's 
property,  and  plot  against  the  lives  of  his  wife  and  children; 
nay,  more,  had  attempted  to  compass  his  master's  destruction. 
The  question  which  he  (Solyman)  wished  the  mufti  to  answer 
was  this:  What  sentence  could  be  lawfully  pronounced  against 
this  slave  ?  The  mufti  answered  that  in  his  judgment  he  de- 
served to  be  tortured  to  death.  Now,  whether  this  was  the 
mufti's  own  opinion,  or  whether  it  was  pronounced  at  the  instiga- 
tion of  Roostem  or  Roxolana,  there  is  no  doubt  that  it  greatly 
influenced  Solyman,  who  was  already  minded  to  order  the  execu- 
tion of  his  son;  for  he  considered  that  the  latter's  oflfence  against 
himself  was  quite  as  great  as  that  of  the  slave  against  his  master, 
in  the  case  he  had  put  before  the  mufti."  ^ 

The  Mufti's  power  in  reahty  went  beyond  the  field  of  inter- 
pretation and  entered  upon  that  of  legislation.     It  is  well  known 

Mufti  in  952  (1545  A.  D.),  after  eight  years'  service  as  Kaziaskcr.     Probably, 
then,  he  was  made  Kaziaskcr  in  944  and  MuJli  in  952.     After  thirty  years  in  that 
eminent  position,  he  died  in  982  (1574). 
^  Busbecq,  Life  and  Letters,  i.  116-117. 


how  much  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States  of  America 
has  extended  the  powers  of  the  federal  government  by  the 
interpretation  of  the  Constitution.  The  Mufti  acted  similarly, 
though  with  less  freedom,  in  interpreting  the  Sacred  Law. 
His  power  in  this  direction  was  recognized  by  some  Ottoman 
Mohammedans:  "The  Mujti  hath  a  spacious  Field  for  his 
Interpretation;  for  it  is  agreed  that  their  Law  is  temporary,  and 
admits  of  Expositions  according  to  times  and  state  of  things. 
And  though  they  Preach  to  the  People  the  perfection  of  their 
Alchoran;  yet  the  wiser  men  hold,  that  the  Mufti  hath  an  exposi- 
tory power  of  the  Law  to  improve  and  better  it,  according  to 
the  state  of  things,  times  and  conveniencies  of  the  Empire;  for 
that  their  Law  was  never  designed  to  be  a  clog  or  confinement  to 
the  propagation  of  Faith,  but  an  advancement  thereof,  and  there- 
fore to  be  interpreted  in  the  largest  and  farthest  fetched  sense, 
when  the  strict  words  will  not  reach  the  design  intended."  ^ 

The  fetvas  of  the  muftis  amounted  in  practice  to  a  body  of 
legislation  which  was  intermediate  between  the  Sheri  and  the 
Kanuns:  they  partook  of  the  sacred  character  of  the  former,  as 
being  based  directly  upon  it;  they  were,  like  the  latter,  of  a 
modern  and  practical  nature  derived  from  recent  application 
to  actual  cases.  In  the  fetvas,  however,  nothing  radical  or 
startling  could  ever  be  attempted;  novel  features  were  obHged 
to  be  of  a  most  inconspicuous  character.  The  fetvas  as  a  whole 
caused  some  development  in  the  Sacred  Law,  but  their  combined 
additions  were  altogether  too  sHght  to  keep  it  abreast  of  the 
march  of  events. 

In  reality,  the  muftis  occupied  the  most  influential  position 
in  the  Moslem  Institution  and  perhaps  in  the  Ottoman  state. 
Usually  inferior  to  judges  and  officers  of  government  in  income 
and  display,  and  giving  no  direct  impulse  to  affairs,  they  never- 
theless wielded  the  greatest  continuous  power  in  the  state,  — 
the  quiet,  steady,  almost  changeless,  almost  irresistible,  force  of 
Mohammedanism.  They  were  "  guardians  of  the  laws  "  in  as 
full  a  sense  as  any  Greek  could  wish.     Their  authority  rested, 

^  Ricaut,  202. 


first,  on  the  acceptance  by  the  entire  Moslem  population  of  the 
absolute  supremacy  of  the  Sacred  Law,  and,  second,  on  the 
recognition  by  the  same  population  that  they,  who  had  acquired 
learning  in  the  Law  by  long  years  of  arduous  mental  labor,  and 
who  had  chosen  to  continue  in  its  study  rather  than  take  up  its 
more  active  and  lucrative  application  in  service  on  the  bench, 
were  the  persons  through  whom  its  supremacy  on  earth  was 
rightly  to  be  maintained.  Thus  by  popular  consent  the  muftis 
constituted  the  conservative,  regulative  force  in  the  Ottoman 
state.  They  were  destined  to  contribute  very  largely  to  the 
empire's  durabihty,  which,  despite  frightful  shocks,  disasters,  and 
losses,  was  to  continue  far  beyond  the  expectation  of  the  world. 
The  muftis  did  their  work  only  too  well.  The  idea  of  the 
changelessness  of  the  Sacred  Law  was  essentially  hostile  to 
progress.  Although  considerable  flexibility  was  possible  under 
its  provisions,  the  flexibihty  lay  in  its  appHcation  to  particular 
cases,  and  hardly  at  all  in  the  law  itself.  When  the  Ottoman 
power  began  to  rise,  scholasticism  was  at  its  height,  both  in 
Christianity  and  in  Mohammedanism.  From  this  blighting 
theological  and  philosophical  bondage,  which  tended  to  extend 
its  deadening  sway  over  all  the  activities  of  the  human  spirit, 
Christendom  was  delivered  by  the  Renaissance  and  the  Reforma- 
tion. The  Ottoman  mind,  on  the  contrary,  continued  to  be 
held  under  it  till  the  most  recent  years.  That  it  remained  so 
long  in  bondage,  with  scarcely  a  struggle  to  escape,  was  due  very 
largely  to  the  authority  of  the  Ulema.  They  who  accomplished 
much  toward  building  the  Ottoman  state  into  a  solid  structure, 
and  toward  maintaining  it  against  foes  without  and  within,  also 
held  it  nearly  stationary  while  the  rest  of  the  world  moved  on. 

The  Judicial  System  ^ 

The  judges  who  belonged  to  the  corps  of  the  Ulema  had 
jurisdictions  that  were  based  upon  territory,  and  that  covered 

^  This  description,  based  on  D'Ohsson's  account,  may  represent  at  some  points 
a  development  later  than  the  time  of  Suleiman.  No  sixteenth-century  writer 
seems  to  have  gone  into  the  organization  of  the  system  in  detail.  Heidborn,  220  ff., 
treats  with  fulness  the  past  and  present  judicial  system  of  the  Ottoman  Empire. 


the  whole  empire  to  an  even  wider  extent  than  did  the  adminis- 
tration of  the  government.  The  Crimea  and  North  Africa, 
though  under  vassal  governments,  formed  part  of  the  Ottoman 
judicial  system.^  The  tribunals  of  the  judges  seem  to  have  been 
competent  for  all  kinds  of  cases,  whether  civil  or  criminal,  and 
whether  covered  by  the  Sheri,  the  Kanuns,  Adet,  or  none  of  these.^ 
But,  as  has  been  seen,  they  were  not  competent  to  try  all  persons. 
The  kullar,  the  Seids,  and  the  members  of  the  foreign  colonies 
had  their  separate  systems  of  justice;  even  the  subject  Christians, 
in  matters  between  themselves,  had  their  own  ecclesiastical 
tribunals  to  which  they  regularly  resorted.  Cases  concerning 
the  administration  of  certain  groups  of  vakf  lands  were  tried  in 
special  courts,  which  were,  however,  presided  over  by  members 
of  the  regular  judicial  body.  The  fief-holders  had  seigniorial 
jurisdiction  in  certain  matters;  and  the  ofiicers  of  local  govern- 
ment seem  also  to  have  had  independent  right  to  decide  cases 
outside  the  sphere  of  the  Sacred  Law,  whether  covered  by  Kanun, 
Adet,  or  unprovided  for.^  The  judges  of  the  Moslem  Institution, 
therefore,  tried  all  cases  involving  the  Sacred  Law  which  arose 
within  the  empire,  and  which  were  between  IVIoslem  and  Moslem 
or  between  Moslem  and  Christian  (except  when  the  Moslem  was 
a  kul  of  the  sultan  or  a  Seid) ,  as  well  as  a  large  proportion  of  the 
cases  which  were  outside  the  sphere  of  the  Sacred  Law. 

Nearly  all  judges  were  judges  of  cities,  having  jurisdiction 
also  over  the  surrounding  territory ;  *  exceptions  were  the  Mufet- 

1  Hammer,  Staatsverwallung,  380.  ^  Postel,  i.  117. 

'  The  Subashis  in  particular  were  closely  connected  with  the  administration  of 
justice.  Postel,  i.  120,  saj's  loosely  that  Pasha,  Kazi,  and  Subashi  all  mean 
the  same  thing.  Chesneau,  47,  says  that  the  sultan  had  two  judges  in  every 
city,  a  Kazi  for  civil  cases  and  a  Subashi  for  criminal  cases.  This  is  certainly 
incorrect,  for  the  Sacred  Law  provided  for  many  criminal  cases,  while  Kanuns 
dealt  with  many  civil  cases.  The  Sanjak  Beys  and  Beylerbeys  held  Divans,  or 
councils,  resembling  on  a  lesser  scale  the  sultan's  Divan  (Heidborn,  143,  note  17); 
following  the  analogy  of  the  Kaziaskers,  the  Kazi  of  the  city  in  which  each  such 
officer  resided  would  sit  in  his  Divan  and  decide  the  cases  that  came  up  touching 
the  Sacred  Law,  and  would  also  hold  independent  court  at  other  times.  In  cities 
of  lesser  importance,  the  Kazis  appear  to  have  been  the  heads  of  the  restricted 
mimicipal  governments  (ibid.,  note  16). 

*  A  scheme  of  the  higher  offices  in  the  judicial  system  in  the  early  nineteenth 
century  is  given  in  Hammer's  Ceschichle,  ix.  i-io. 


tishes  of  the  vakf  lands,  the  judge  who  accompanied  the  Kapudan 
Pasha  on  his  annual  cruise  to  the  Aegean  Islands,  the  two  Kazi- 
askers,  and  the  grand  vizier.  The  judges  were  all  carefully 
graded  in  five  principal  classes,  three  of  which  were  each  again 
subdivided  into  several  groups.  By  another  grouping,  on  a 
geographical  basis,  they  were  in  two  divisions  under  the  Kazi- 
askers  of  Europe  and  Asia.  The  five  classes  were  the  greater 
Mollas,  the  lesser  Mollas,  the  Mufettishes,  the  Kazis,  and  the 
Naibs.  The  general  name  for  judge  was  Kazi,  and  the  popular 
title  of  respect  for  them  all  was  Molla;  *  but  the  official  titles 
were  as  described  above.  In  general,  a  Danishmend  who  aspired 
to  the  judicial  career  chose  while  in  the  law  course,  according 
to  his  ambition  or  ability,  which  of  the  five  classes  he  would 
strive  to  enter  and  after  entering  one  of  them  he  could  not  pass 
to  another.     Each  had  its  ladder  of  promotion. 

The  greater  Mollas  were  in  six  groups:  the  Kaziasker  of 
Rumeha;  the  Kaziasker  of  Anatoha;  the  judge  of  Constanti- 
nople; the  judges  of  Mecca  and  Medina;  the  judges  of  Adrian- 
ople,  Brusa,  Cairo,  and  Damascus;  and  the  judges  of  the  three 
suburbs  of  Constantinople,  —  Galata,  Scutari,  and  Eyub,  — 
and  of  Jerusalem,  Smyrna,  Aleppo,  Larissa,  and  Salonica.  These 
seventeen  were  in  later  times  nominated  by  the  Mujli  for  approval 
by  the  grand  vizier  and  confirmation  by  the  sultan;  in  Sulei- 
man's time  the  members  of  the  last  four  groups  were  nominated 
by  the  Kaziaskers  subject  to  the  approval  of  the  pashas.'^  Their 
positions  were  originally  held  for  life,  or  until  promotion,  or  dur- 
ing good  behavior;  and  they  rose  by  promotion  from  group  to 
group.  Each  had  a  number  of  assistants,  clerks,  book-keepers, 
treasurers,  and  the  like.  They  seem  to  have  had  superior  juris- 
diction over  the  inhabitants,  and  control  of  the  lesser  judges,  in 

^  Kazi  is  the  Turkish  pronunciation  of  the  Arabic  word  kadi,  judge;  Molla  is 
the  Turivish  form  of  the  Arabic  word  vtaitld,  lord. 

2  Junis  Bey  (below,  p.  265)  and  Postel,  i.  119,  state  that  the  Kaziaskers 
nominated  all  Kazis.  Junis  Bey  says:  "  Two  Cadilesclier  talismans,  one  of  Greece 
and  the  other  of  Natolia  or  Asia,  and  they  each  have  revenues  of  6  or  7  thousand 
ducats  a  year:  who  are  executors  of  their  law.  ...  it  is  they  who  appoint  the 
Kadis  or  podestas  of  all  the  lands  of  the  Seigneur."  Ramberti  (below,  p.  247) 
and  Nicolay,  119,  say  that  the  consent  of  the  pashas  was  necessary  also. 


the  entire  dominion  of  the  officer  of  local  government  —  Beylerhey 
or  Sanjak  Bey  —  who  resided  in  their  city.^  The  Kaziaskers  had 
each  a  large  corps  of  subordinate  officials.  They  controlled  the 
appointment  of  the  judges  of  all  other  classes,  subject  to  the  con- 
firmation of  the  sultan.  The  five  Ulema  who  held  high  office  near 
the  person  of  the  sultan  —  his  Hoja  or  teacher,  the  head  phys- 
ician, the  head  astrologer,  and  the  two  imperial  Imams  —  were 
reckoned  as  adjunct  members  among  the  Mollas  of  the  first  class. 
They  had  no  small  influence  on  the  destiny  of  the  empire,  as 
being  the  most  disinterested  and  trusted  persons  who  had  the 
ear  of  the  monarch. 

The  lesser  Mollas  were  the  judges  of  the  ten  cities  of  second 
rank,  —  Marash,  Bagdad,  Bosna-serai,  Sofia,  Belgrade,  Aintab, 
Kutaia,  Konia,  Phihppopohs,  and  Diarbekr. 

The  Mufettishes  were  five  in  number,  three  representing  the 
vakfs  in  Constantinople  that  were  under  the  Mufti,  the  grand 
vizier,  and  the  Kizlar  Agha,  and  two  representing  all  three  of 
these  exalted  officials  in  Adrianople  and  Brusa.  Cases  concern- 
ing vakfs  that  might  arise  elsewhere  were  taken  before  the  nearest 

The  Kazis  proper  included  the  vast  majority  of  the  judges, 
to  the  number,  in  D'Ohsson's  time,  of  about  four  hundred  and 
fifty,  who  were  stationed  in  smaller  cities.  About  two  hundred 
in  Europe,  in  nine  groups,  and  those  in  the  Crimea  and  North 
Africa,  were  under  the  authority  of  the  Kaziasker  of  RumeHa. 
About  two  hundred  and  twenty-five  in  Asia,  in  ten  groups,  and 
thirty-six  in  Egypt,  in  six  groups,  were  under  the  control  of  the 
Kaziasker  of  Anatoha.^ 

The  Naibs  were  in  several  groups,  as  judges  of  villages,  lesser 
judges  of  cities,  temporary  substitutes  for  higher  judges,  and  the 
like.     They  ordinarily  had  no  salaries,  but  lived  upon  fees  and 

1  Ricaut,  205. 

2  Hammer  (as  above,  p.  216,  note  4)  gives  a  list  of  39  judges  of  rank  above  the 
Kazis  proper,  and  243  Kazis  of  Rumelia,  280  of  Anatolia,  and  34  of  Egj-pt.  The 
total  is  thus  557  Kazis  proper,  and  596  judges  in  all.  In  the  subsequent  list  of 
247  positions  in  Rumelia  as  rearranged  under  Mahmud  II,  five  places  in  the  Crimea 
are  mentioned  as  seats  of  Kazis  in  parlibus,  but  neither  list  appears  to  mention 
any  in  North  Africa. 


irregular  earnings.  A  group  of  these  were  important  in  the 
sixteenth  century  as  a  kind  of  inspectors  of  public  morals. 
They  purchased  their  places,  and  lived  upon  fines  —  and  some- 
times, it  is  said,  upon  extortions  —  from  persons  who  did  not 
wish  their  private  lives  exposed.' 

Exercising  many  of  the  functions  of  police  and  market  judges, 
but  not  belonging  to  the  Ulema,  were  the  Muhtesibs,  or  lieutenants 
of  police,  of  the  various  cities.  Accompanied  by  soldiers  and 
attendants,  they  patrolled  the  streets  and  inspected  the  markets, 
giving  special  heed  to  weights  and  measures.  If  they  found 
that  the  law  had  been  infringed,  they  inflicted  punishment, 
whether  financial  or  corporal,  on  the  spot.^  By  reason  of  the 
duty  of  applying  sumptuary  regulations,  the  office  was  often 

In  every  court  a  single  judge  sat,  with  his  clerks  and  other 
subordinates.  Cases  were  presented  by  the  parties  concerned, 
and  decisions  were  usually  rendered  immediately  and  in  very 
concise  form.  The  judge  cooperated  with  the  Siihashi  of  the 
city,  who  brought  before  the  judge  persons  that  were  summoned 
and  who  executed  the  sentences  of  the  judges,*  an  arrangement 
in  which  lay  a  certain  likeness  to  the  ecclesiastical  courts  of  the 
West,  which  might  condemn,  but  left  the  execution  to  the  secular 
arm.  Appeal  went  up  to  judges  higher  in  the  scale,  and  finally 
to  the  grand  vizier.*  Costs  and  fines  were  moderate,  and  were 
fixed  by  Kanun;  ^  they  constituted,  however,  a  large  part  of  the 
income  of  the  judges  and  their  subordinates.  The  judges  were 
salaried,  and  some  of  them  had  in  addition  large  amounts  of 
irregular  earnings.  The  judges  attended  to  all  the  notarial 
work  of  the  empire. 

The  Stibashis,  Sanjak  Beys,  and  Beylerbeys  had  complete 
jurisdiction  over  all  members  of  the  Ruling  Institution  who 

1  Spandugino,  188;  Postal,  i.  127. 

*  Spandugino,  213;  D'Ohsson,  vi.  S33- 

'  Postci,  i.  126.     This  oflicer  is  called  by  Postel  Mortasi. 

*  Menavino,  66;  Spandugino,  211. 

^  Postel,  i.  120,  124;  Nicolay,  119.     There  was  no  regular  organization  of  the 
procedure  of  appeal;  nevertheless  it  was  allowed  (Hcidborn,  389). 
'  Hammer,  Slaatsverfassung,  100.     See  above,  p.  203,  note  i. 


resided  in  their  districts,  as  well  as  a  more  or  less  undefined  au- 
thority in  cases  controlled  by  Kanun,  Adet,  or  otherwise  outside 
the  sphere  of  the  Sacred  Law.^  In  capital  cases  they  never 
proceeded  to  execution  without  obtaining  the  approval  of  the 
judge  of  the  city,  in  order  to  have  the  sanction  of  the  Sacred 
Law.^  The  decisions  of  the  judges  in  criminal  cases  were  regularly 
submitted  to  without  a  murmur,  since  it  was  felt  that  the  judges 
represented  Mohammed,  "  wore  the  robe  of  God,"  and  had  power 
of  "  sovereign  sentence."  * 

The  highest  courts  were  those  of  the  Kaziaskers,  the  grand 
vizier,  and  the  Divan.  The  Kaziaskers,  besides  attending  to 
the  cases  that  were  brought  before  them  in  the  Divan  and  at  the 
palace  gate  after  its  close,  held  court  at  all  other  times  in  their 
own  houses.^  Mohammed  II  had  provided  that,  when  cases 
were  brought  primarily  to  them  in  the  city  of  Constantinople, 
those  which  concerned  Moslems  should  come  before  the 
Kaziasker  of  Rumelia  and  those  which  concerned  non-Moslems 
before  the  Kaziasker  of  Anatolia.  The  titles  of  these  judges 
show  their  original  functions  as  judges  of  the  armies  of  Rumelia 
and  Anatolia,  offices  which  they  continued  to  exercise  in  time  of 
war.  In  this  capacity,  also,  appeals  came  up  to  them  in  time  of 
peace  from  the  Subashis  and  Sanjak  Beys  in  matters  touching 
kullar.  The  power  of  the  Kaziaskers  had  been  extended  to 
include  the  headship  of  all  the  judges  of  their  respective  regions, 
and  the  appointment  of  all  judges,  subject  to  the  approval  of  the 
pashas.  In  the  Divan,  and  as  "  Pillars  of  the  State,"  they 
ranked  next  to  the  viziers;  they  had  the  first  right  of  audience 
with  the  sultan  at  the  close  of  each  Divan;  and  until  the  reign 
of  Suleiman  they  had  had  all  the  authority  over  the  Ulema  that 
later  came  to  the  Mufti.  They  had  immense  incomes  and  were 
highly  honored  and  esteemed. 

^  See  above,  p.  ii6. 

2  Spandugino,  211. 

3  Ibid. 

*  The  Arabic  words  kadi  al  asker  signify  judge  of  the  army.  In  the  sixteenth 
century  the  pronunciation  seems  to  havi  been  kadi  I'esker;  nowadays  it  is  kazi 
asker.  The  burdensome  duty  of  holding  court  continually  is  mentioned  in  Span- 
dugino, 96;  D'Ohsson,  iv.  581. 


The  grand  vizier  was  actual  head  of  the  Moslem  Institution 
as  substitute  for  the  sultan;  accordingly  his  court  was  the 
highest  court  of  appeal  for  all  ordinary  civil  cases.  It  was  also, 
however,  like  all  other  courts  in  the  empire,  a  court  of  first 
instance.  He  decided  great  numbers  of  cases,  large  and  small, 
for  rich  and  poor  alike.  Justice  was  refused  to  no  one;  it  was 
rendered  either  by  the  grand  vizier's  own  decision,  or  by  reference 
for  prompt  settlement  to  one  of  the  Kaziaskers  or  to  some  other 

The  Divan's  principal  deliberative  business  as  a  court  was  the 
trial  of  capital  cases  of  great  officials.  Although  many  such 
persons  were  executed,  it  is  strenuously  denied  that  Suleiman 
ever  ordered  death  without  a  trial.^  Nevertheless,  the  process 
was  usually  held  in  the  absence  of  the  accused  person  and  with- 
out his  knowledge;  he  might  be  at  the  end  of  the  empire.  In 
case  of  conviction  a  Chaush  was  sent  to  the  condemned  man's 
place  of  residence,  bearing  secretly  a  written  commission,  which 
was  given  to  the  nearest  official  who  had  power  to  execute.  The 
condemned  man  had  at  best  a  few  hours  in  which  to  settle  his 
affairs  and  make  his  peace  with  God;  then  he  was  executed,  and 
his  head  was  given  to  the  Chaush  to  be  taken  to  the  sultan  as 
proof  that  the  mission  had  been  faithfully  accomplished.  It  is 
said  that  forty  or  fifty  heads  sometimes  reached  the  court  of 
Suleiman  in  a  single  day.' 

Early  in  his  reign,  when  filled  with  pride  by  his  victory  over 
the  rebel  Ghazah,  and  feeling  warm  friendship  toward  Doge 
Loredano  of  Venice,  he  wished  to  send  the  rebel's  head  to  the 
Doge  by  a  special  embassy,  and  was  dissuaded  only  with  great 
difficulty  by  the  Bailo  of  Venice  in  Constantinople.'*  After 
Mohacs  two  thousand  heads  were  set  on  poles  about  his  tent.^ 
To  Western  eyes  it  seems  a  blot  upon  the  noble  and  generous 
character  of  Suleiman,  that  he  treated  the  heads  of  his  enemies 
and  of  condemned  criminals  after  the  fashion  of  his  time  and 

1  Postel,  i.  123.    Heidborn,  141-143,  note  15,  quotes  from  Ypsilanti  an  inter- 
esting description  of  a  session  of  the  grand  vizier's  court. 

2  Postel,  i.  127,  iii.  8.  ■*  Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  11. 

3  Ibid.  iii.  9.  ^  Ibid.  6i. 


country.  Aside  from  the  question  of  barbarity  and  cruelty, 
however,  the  poHcy  of  summary  and  certain  execution  of  offen- 
ders was  essential  to  the  maintenance  of  the  Ottoman  Ruling 
Institution  in  power.  It  was  a  process  of  pruning,  by  which 
every  dangerous  growth  was  cut  away.  Had  it  not  been  done, 
the  system  would  have  seemed  today  more  commendable,  but 
it  could  hardly  have  failed  to  perish  quickly.  A  century  after 
Suleiman  the  remark  was  made  that  what  preserved  the  Ottoman 
state  was  the  quickness  and  severity  of  justice  for  crimes  which 
had  relation  to  the  government.^ 

What  was  the  general  character  of  Ottoman  justice  ?  It  is 
to  be  feared  that  it  was  often  venal.  A  few  years  after  Suleiman's 
death  a  Western  writer  expressed  the  opinion  that  the  only 
incorruptible  courts  were  those  of  the  grand  vizier  and  the 
Divan.2  Another  charged  that  Christian  subjects  had  unfair 
treatment  before  the  courts,  in  which  they  were  not  allowed 
to  testify,  since  some  of  the  Moslems  considered  it  almost  a 
meritorious  religious  act  to  turn  a  case  against  a  Christian  by 
false  testimony.^  It  is  probable,  however,  that  the  Ottoman 
courts  in  Suleiman's  time  were  reasonably  just.  The  judges 
were  well-paid,  highly  honored,  and  carefully  inspected  by  honest 
men  who  were  sent  out  annually  by  the  Kaziaskers;  *  neverthe- 
less, many  of  them  no  doubt  yielded  to  the  same  desire  for  money 
that  afflicted  the  kullar.  In  at  least  one  respect  the  Ottoman 
courts  were  highly  to  be  commended:  there  was  a  minimum  of 
trouble  because  of  the  "  law's  delay."  Cases  were  always 
decided  promptly,  and  in  clear  and  simple  terms.  An  unjust 
decision  quickly  given  is  often  less  expensive  and  less  annoying 
in  the  long  run  than  tardy  justice.^ 

Some  Western  observers  were  as  strongly  impressed  with  the 
superiority  of  Ottoman  justice  over  that  in  their  own  lands  as 
they  were  with  the  superiority  of  discipline  in  the  Ottoman 

*  Ricaut,  3. 

2  Garzoni,  430.     See  also  Morosini,  273. 

'  Postel,  i.  124.     Matters  were  distinctly  worse  in  Ricaut's  time  (pp.  140-141). 

*  Spandugino,  114. 

*  It  has  been  suggested  (Morosini,  273)  that  the  promptness  of  justice  had  a 
connection  with  the  early  military  character  of  the  Moslems. 


camp,  or  of  promotion  by  merit  in  the  Ottoman  government 
service.'  One  of  them  said:  "To  understand  at  length  their 
diligence  in  justice,  it  would  be  necessary  to  write  more  than  I 
have  done;  and  further,  since  there  is  nothing  here  [that  is,  in 
P'rance]  so  near  immortality  as  the  processes  and  extortions 
which  men  do,  it  gives  me  shame  to  recite  so  great  diligence 
among  people  proclaimed  wicked;  this  it  is,  without  any  doubt, 
which  makes  them  so  to  rule,  conquer,  and  keep.  ...  Of 
Sultan  Suleiman,  who  rules  at  present,  I  do  not  wish  to  speak, 
for  his  deeds  are  not  yet  accomplished,  and  he  cannot  yet  be 
praised,  except  for  his  humanity,  justice,  and  fidelity."  ^ 

The  law  which  the  judges  administered  was  primarily  the 
Sacred  Law,  as  given  in  the  Koran  and  the  traditions  of  Moham- 
med, but  especially  as  codified  by  the  great  doctors  of  the  school 
of  Abu  Hanifa,  and  as  interpreted  in  collections  of  the  fetvas  of 
great  jurists.  Next  the  judges  applied  the  Kanuns  of  the  sultans, 
and  the  customs  and  immunities  of  the  regions  in  which  they 
served.^  Finally,  they  had  a  considerable  field  in  which  to  make 
use  of  equity:  "  The  good  sense  and  prudence  of  judges  trained 
in  reasoning,"  says  Postel,  "  supplies  and  decides  many  things 
that  are  not  written."  •*  The  only  resemblance  to  the  Anglo- 
Saxon  system  of  case  law  seems  to  have  been  the  use  of  the 
fetvas  of  the  muftis.  Since  the  hearing  of  ordinary  cases  was 
summary  and  decisions  were  rendered  very  briefly,  no  extended 
reports  were  possible.  The  absence  of  printing,  which  was  not 
introduced  into  Turkey  until  the  eighteenth  century,  aided 
further  toward  making  a  general  use  of  the  decisions  of  judges  as 
precedents  practically  impossible.  In  those  days  judges  relied 
upon  their  own  knowledge  of  law  and  custom,  on  the  few  books 
they  might  possess,  on  their  sense  of  equity,  and,  in  matters  of 
difficulty,  on  the  opinions  of  the  local  fnuftis.  Since  the  judges 
were  not  each  surrounded  by  a  group  of  trained  and  keenly 
watchful  lawyers,  but  acted  alone  except  for  their  own  sub- 
ordinates, there  was  more  opportunity  for  unjust  decisions  by  a 
dishonest  judge  than  among  English-speaking  peoples.     Or,  to 

*  Spanduejino,  211,  255.  ^  Ibid.  i.  117. 

2  Postel,  i.  127,  iii.  87.  *  Ibid. 


state  the  matter  differently,  Ottoman  justice  depended  more 
upon  the  integrity  of  judges  than  does  Anglo-Saxon  justice. 
Although  the  Sacred  Law  was  rigid,  its  appKcation  to  the  indi- 
vidual case  was  adjustable,  and  adjustment  was  ordinarily 
accomplished  by  the  decision  of  one  man.  Judges  therefore 
possessed  great  power  over  the  fortunes  of  individuals,  a  fact 
which  in  part  explains  the  great  deference  and  honor  that  was 
shown  them. 

The  Moslem  Institution  as  a  Whole 

A  few  words  of  summary  will  sketch  the  outlines  of  the  com- 
plete Moslem  Institution  in  the  Ottoman  Empire.  It  repre- 
sented and  maintained  the  entire  system  that  was  based  upon 
the  life  and  work  of  the  Prophet  Mohammed.  This  system 
claimed  to  be  sufficient  for  all  sides  of  the  temporal,  as  well  as 
for  the  eternal,  life  of  all  individuals,  and  for  the  life  of  the  state 
which  they  constituted;  it  also  provided  a  place  for  subject 
peoples  and  resident  foreigners  of  other  rehgious  affiliations. 
The  power  of  the  institution  extended  over  the  whole  empire, 
even  beyond  the  limits  of  political  control. 

The  Moslem  Institution  was  firmly  grounded  in  the  allegiance, 
the  fundamental  beliefs,  and  the  affections  of  the  entire  Moslem- 
born  population  of  the  empire.  It  is  true  that  not  all  Moslems 
believed  exactly  alike,  nor  did  they  all  practise  the  Sacred  Law 
according  to  the  system  of  Abu  Hanifa.  But  they  were  all 
fiercely  and  proudly  Moslems,  and  devoted  to  the  supremacy  of 
the  Mohammedan  system  in  this  world,  as  expressed  in  an  insti- 
tution which  might  not  be  what  every  one  wished,  but  which 
revealed  and  maintained  the  power  of  Islam.  All  the  Moslems 
of  the  empire  were  in  a  sense  members  of  the  institution.  In  the 
sixteenth  century  any  one  of  them  might  hope  to  see  his  son 
mount  to  a  very  high  place  within  the  organization,  since  indus- 
trious study  combined  with  native  ability  was  all  that  was 
demanded.  Opportunities  in  the  way  of  schools  were  present 
nearly  everywhere;  and  a  student  who  once  had  shown  his 
aptitude  would  be  carried  forward,  without  expense  to  his  rela- 
tives, by  funds  which  had  been  provided  by  sultans  and  pious 


individuals  "  for  the  good  of  their  souls."  The  Moslem  Institu- 
tion was  fundamentally  democratic.  It  was  united  in  complete 
solidarity  and  perfect  harmony  with  all  in  the  empire  who  were 
attached  to  the  doctrines  of  the  Prophet.  All  believers  were 
equal  before  God,  and  all  were  supposed  to  have  equal  opportu- 
nity to  rise  to  places  of  honor  in  the  system. 

Distinction  and  membership  in  the  institution  proper  rested 
upon  birth  in  the  case  of  the  descendants  of  Mohammed,  upon 
profession  of  piety  and  special  religious  service  in  the  case  of  the 
dervishes,  but  upon  learned  knowledge  of  the  Sacred  Law  in  all 
positions  of  public  influence  and  importance.  The  three  highly- 
honored  classes  of  teachers,  jurists,  and  judges  were  trained  in 
the  same  superbly-planned  educational  system,  in  the  same 
text-books  and  the  same  ideas.  Whether  in  Constantinople  or 
Cairo,  the  Crimea  or  Algiers,  Budapest  or  Bagdad,  old,  grave, 
wise,  and  learned  professors,  jurists,  and  judges  taught,  inter- 
preted, and  enforced  the  same  wide-reaching  and  changeless 
Sacred  Law.  As  teachers,  the  Ulema  conveyed  to  children  and 
youth,  in  impressible  years,  that  which  they  had  themselves 
received.  The  same  learned  persons,  after  fixing  each  part  of 
the  whole  round  of  legal  studies  in  their  minds  by  periods  of 
teaching,  were  advanced  to  places  where  they  dealt  not  with 
boys,  but  with  men,  where  their  work  affected  not  the  fortunes 
of  individuals,  but  the  destinies  of  the  empire.  Yet  their  influ- 
ence was  exerted  strenuously  in  the  same  direction  throughout, 
to  impress  and  perpetuate  the  changeless  body  of  ideas  in  the 
Sacred  Law.  Professors,  jurists,  and  judges  alike  were,  in  all 
that  they  did  and  throughout  their  lives,  fundamentally  teachers. 
The  Ulema  taught  all  the  Moslems  of  the  empire,  from  the  young 
child  to  the  aged  sultan.  They  maintained  schools  for  the  young; 
places  of  worship,  courts,  and  offices  of  consultation  for  adults. 
Every  important  officer  of  administrative  government  had  a 
judge  and  a  mufti  at  his  elbow.  Not  only  was  the  sultan  himself 
in  close  relations  with  the  Kaziaskcrs  and  the  Mufti,  but  he  had 
always  a  spiritual  adviser  to  whom  he  showed  great  deference, 
and  who  bore  the  significant  title  of  the  sultan's  Hoja,  or  teacher. 
There  was  an  aspect  in  which  the  Moslem  Institution,  based 


upon  the  Moslem  population  of  the  empire,  fitted  the  govern- 
ment as  hand  fits  glove.  This  figure,  moreover,  can  be  pressed 
beyond  the  mere  comparison  of  shape;  the  hand  is  of  much  the 
same  efiiciency  with  or  without  the  glove,  while  the  glove  is 
useless  without  the  hand;  furthermore,  the  hand  may  live  to 
wear  a  succession  of  gloves. 



The  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution,  and  the  Moslem  Institution 
of  the  Ottoman  Empire  might  be  compared,  contrasted,  and 
reflected  upon  at  great  length.  In  this  discussion,  however, 
it  must  suffice  to  select  and  comment  upon  a  few  of  their  salient 
likenesses,  differences,  and  interactions,  without  attempting 
to  separate  such  features  sharply. 


Both  institutions  were  constructed  out  of  old  and  well-seasoned 
materials.  Many  of  the  ideas  in  each  can  be  followed  back  until 
their  origin  is  lost  in  prehistoric  obscurity;  hardly  a  feature  in 
either  but  had  a  clear  derivation  from,  relationship  to,  or  sug- 
gestion in,  some  prototype  of  pre-Ottoman  days.  Only  the  final 
structure  of  each,  the  proportion  and  composition  of  its  parts, 
and  the  effect  of  the  completed  whole  was  worked  out  in  the 
Ottoman  Empire.  If  an  attempt  be  made,  in  a  very  general  way, 
to  distinguish  the  main  hnes  of  influence  which  led  up  to  the  two 
institutions,  it  may  be  said  that  the  Ruhng  Institution  had  its 
nucleus  of  ideas  from  the  Turks  of  the  steppe  lands.  Influenced 
by  old  Persian  neighbors  and  Chinese  rulers,  the  original  group 
of  ideas  was  brought  into  the  Moslem  Empire  and  Asia  Minor 
by  the  predecessors  of  the  Seljuk  Turks  and  by  the  Seljuk  Turks 
themselves.  Coming  into  contact  in  Asia  Minor  with  the  ideas 
of  the  Byzantine  Empire,  and  to  some  extent  with  those  of  the 
crusaders  from  the  West,  the  system  took  on  a  large  number  of 
new  features;  and  the  Ottomans  continued  the  process  in  Asia 
Minor  and  Southeastern  Europe  until  the  time  of  Suleiman. 
The  Moslem  Institution  began  with  the  ideas  of  the  Arabs  as 
combined  by  Mohammed  with  Jewish,  Middle  Persian,  and 
Christian  influences.  Political  notions  were  rapidly  incorporated 
from  those  prevailing  in  Byzantine  Syria  and  Eg}pt,  and  perhaps 



to  a  greater  extent  from  those  in  the  Sassanian  Persian  Empire. 
A  compact  system  of  ideas  began  early  to  be  developed,  and  in  the 
twelfth  and  thirteenth  centuries  it  reached  final  scholastic  shape. 
Together  with  its  institutional  embodiments,  it  began  to  pass  to 
the  Ottomans  in  their  earliest  days;  and,  as  the  nation  grew,  it 
grew  into  the  Moslem  Institution  of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  fresh 
power  being  given  to  it  by  Selim's  conquest  of  the  old  Moslem 
lands,  and  especially  by  his  acquisition  of  the  over-lordship  of 
the  Holy  Cities.  The  two  lines  of  tendency  which  led  to  the  two 
great  Ottoman  institutions  were  first  brought  into  contact  when, 
in  the  seventh  century,  the  Arab  conquest  of  Persia  advanced 
the  Moslem  frontier  into  Central  Asia.  From  that  time  to  the 
reign  of  Suleiman  reciprocal  influence  was  exerted,  although  the 
Moslem  ideas  affected  the  Turkish  much  more  than  the  Turkish 
did  the  Moslem. 

Both  of  the  great  Ottoman  institutions  were  founded  upon 
groups  of  ideas  and  not  upon  racial  descent.  This  subject, 
discussed  above  in  the  Introduction,  has  been  shown  to  be  true 
to  an  extreme  in  the  Ruling  Institution,  which  drew  its  members 
from  every  direction  except  from  the  existing  stock  of  the  nation. 
The  Moslem  Institution  embodied  a  religion  of  universal  claim. 
Though  originally  given  to  the  Arabs,  the  Moslem  faith  was 
intrinsically  independent  of  race,  as  its  subsequent  history 
revealed.  Belief,  and  not  blood,  became  the  sole  test  of  member- 
ship. This  common  hospitality  of  its  two  great  institutions 
to  all  who  might  wish  to  join  them  laid  firmly  the  foundation  of 
the  Ottoman  nation,  and  made  possible  the  greatness  and  the 
permanence  of  its  dominion. 

Both  Ottoman  institutions  were  self-perpetuating  through 
education.  Each  had  a  great  educational  system  which  was 
adapted  to  its  special  character,  and  which  was  life-long  in  extent. 
The  Ruhng  Institution  trained  its  pupils  physically  as  well  as 
mentally,  whereas  the  Moslem  Institution  neglected  physical 
education  in  favor  of  a  greater  amount  of  intellectual  training. 
Otherwise  their  work  was  largely  parallel.  One  institution  took 
its  pupils  from  the  children  of  Christian  subjects  and  neighbors, 
and  trained  them  to  conquer  and  to  rule.     The  other  took  its 


pupils  from  the  children  of  Moslems  and  trained  them  to  know, 
practise,  teach,  and  enforce  the  Moslem  rules  of  law  and  life. 
The  one  system  raised  the  ablest  Christian-born  individuals  to 
the  highest  positions,  and  the  other  raised  the  ablest  Moslem- 
born  individuals  similarly.  Both  continually  brought  in  new 
material  at  the  bottom,  and  continually  worked  upon  all  their 
material  to  increase  its  value.  Each  offered  such  rewards  and 
promotions  as  to  induce  its  members  to  put  forth  their  most 
strenuous  exertions,  that  they  might  develop  their  own  powers 
and  visibly  help  their  institution.  Whatever  faults  of  plan  and 
structure  the  institutions  may  have  had,  they  were  able  to  survive 
all  dangers  and  disasters  largely  through  the  trained  ability  of  the 
individuals  whom  their  educational  systems  had  brought  to  the 

Both  institutions  rose  to  an  apex,  through  the  Divan  and  the 
grand  vizier,  in  the  sultan,  who  was  the  head  and  center  of  each. 
Yet  the  ideas  by  which  the  two  institutions  were  joined  to  their 
head  were  in  striking  contrast.  The  sultan  was  master  and  owner 
of  the  Ruling  Institution;  he  was  the  divinely-appointed  chief 
of  the  Moslem  Institution,  The  members  of  the  former  obeyed 
him  as  slaves;  the  members  of  the  latter  obeyed  him  as  free 
Moslems  commanded  by  the  Sacred  Law  to  render  allegiance 
to  the  chief  interpreter  and  defender  of  that  law.  The  former 
knew  no  power  greater  than  the  sultan's;  the  latter  relied  upon 
the  Sacred  Law  as  above  the  sultan.  The  RuHng  Institution 
was  extended  downward  in  each  of  its  parts  from  the  sultan's 
authority,  and  in  organization  and  membership  depended  for 
existence  upon  his  will.  The  Moslem  Institution  rose  upward 
from  the  people,  and  was  attached  almost  artificially  to  the 
sultan's  authority,  Suleiman  regulated  the  grades  of  higher 
advancement  in  it,  but  the  sultans  who  came  after  him  touched 
the  organization  of  the  institution  scarcely  at  all.  Very  seldom, 
moreover,  by  comparison,  did  the  sultans  punish  the  members 
of  this  institution;  for  the  most  part  its  work  went  on  quite 
independently  of  them.  But  the  sultan  was  the  head  of  both 
institutions:  every  member  of  each  looked  upward  along  con- 
verging lines  which  met  at  the  foot  of  his  throne.     The  highest 


promotions  in  each  were  made  by  him  directly,  the  honored 
men  being  put  into  positions  near  their  sovereign. 


The  fact  that  the  Ruhng  Institution  was  recruited  from 
Christian  slaves  and  the  Moslem  Institution  from  Moslem  free- 
men led  to  a  profound  difference  of  spirit.  The  Christian  slaves, 
newly  converted  to  Mohammedanism,  were  not  as  a  body  so 
closely  attached  to  the  Sacred  Law  as  were  the  Moslem  freemen. 
Their  loyalty  being  rather  to  one  man,  their  master  and  bene- 
factor, they  felt  a  servile  devotion  which  was  very  different 
from  the  reasoned  allegiance  of  those  who  had  always  been  free. 
A  Mufti,  fortified  by  the  Sacred  Law,  would  firmly  oppose  the 
will  of  the  sovereign  in  a  case  where  a  grand  vizier  would  scarcely 
dare  venture  a  mildly  contrary  suggestion.  The  Sacred  Law, 
despite  the  introduction  of  all  later  influences,  still  breathed 
forth  something  of  the  freedom  of  the  Arabian  desert:  in  one 
or  two  generations,  as  has  been  seen,  it  could  render  its  fol- 
lowers unfit  to  be  slaves.  Thus  the  spirit  of  the  Ruling  Institu- 
tion was  far  less  independent  of  personal  authority  than  that 
of  the  Moslem  Institution. 

As  to  the  authority  of  old  ideas  the  contrary  was  true.  The 
fundamental  distinction  of  parties  in  modern  states  seems  to 
rest  upon  a  greater  or  less  relative  inclination  to  follow  old  paths 
or  to  enter  upon  new  ones.  Both  institutions  of  the  Ottoman 
state  would  in  modern  times  be  classed  as  strongly  conservative, 
but  of  the  two  the  Moslem  Institution  was  by  far  the  more  so. 
Conservatism,  in  fact,  was  of  the  very  essence  of  the  Sacred  Law. 
The  early  Turks  had  also  loved  their  Adet,  but  not  so  much  as 
to  be  unwilhng  quickly  to  adopt  the  new  if  they  saw  in  it  distinct 
advantage;  the  rise  of  the  Ottoman  power  was,  indeed,  marked 
by  the  constant  incorporation  of  new  ideas,  devices,  and  methods.^ 
As  the  Moslem  influence  grew,  however,  changes  became  increas- 
ingly more  difficult  to  make;  and  when  they  were  made  it  was  by 
the  activity  of  the  RuUng  Institution,  usually  against  the  resis- 
tance or  the  inert  passivity  of  the  Moslem  Institution. 

1  The  use  of  cannon  is  perhaps  the  most  conspicuous  example. 


The  fact  that  the  Ruh'ng  Institution  fought  and  governed 
while  the  Moslem  Institution  thought  and  judged  was,  of  course, 
highly  significant:  the  former  embodied  the  active,  the  latter 
the  contemplative,  principle  of  the  nation.  Here  again  is  invol- 
ved a  difference  of  Turk  and  Saracen.  In  the  steppe  lands  the 
Turk  fought,  obeyed,  and  gave  orders;  after  the  fever  of  conquest 
was  abated,  the  Saracen,  under  Islam,  thought,  preserved 
intellectual  independence,  and  worshipped.  With  the  two 
characters  placed  side  by  side,  it  was  in  the  nature  of  things 
that  in  the  long  run  muscle  would  be  controlled  by  mind. 

By  comparison  with  the  Moslem  Institution,  the  Ruling 
Institution  possessed  a  great  structural  disadvantage,  in  that 
it  was  much  more  artificial  and  therefore  much  less  stable. 
It  admitted  its  members  as  slaves,  but  they  were  not  hereditary 
slaves;  most  of  them  were  free-born  subjects  of  the  empire  or 
of  the  neighboring  Christian  states.  A  class  of  hereditary  slaves 
would  not  have  possessed  the  requisite  mettle.  Now,  the  acquisi- 
tion of  a  large  number  of  free-born  children  who  can  be  made 
into  slaves  is  hardly  a  process  that  can  be  continued  indefinitely. 
Conquest  had  its  limits  for  the  Ottoman  Empire,  for  boundaries 
were  reached  beyond  which  lay  states  whose  powers  of  self- 
defense  developed  increasingly;  accordingly,  recruiting  by  cap- 
ture became  increasingly  difficult.  But  the  levying  of  children 
as  tribute  was  strongly  against  human  nature;  and  in  the  long 
run  it,  too,  must  lead  to  decline,  for  under  its  operation  the  best 
were  taken  and  inferiors  were  left.  Furthermore,  not  only 
were  children  separated  from  their  parents  against  the  wishes  of 
the  parents,  but  the  recruits,  when  they  grew  up,  were  not 
encouraged  to  form  family  ties.  Even  when  they  did  so,  they 
were  unable  to  advance  their  children  as  they  had  been  advanced 
themselves,  and  they  could  not  be  sure  of  conveying  their  prop- 
erty to  their  descendants.  Thus  in  several  respects  the  Ruling 
Institution  ran  counter  to  the  idea  of  the  family.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  advantages  given  to  the  sultan's  kullar  became  too 
great  not  to  be  coveted;  and  it  was  not  natural  that  the  free- 
born  Moslems  should  continue  to  let  outsiders  be  the  only 
recipients  of  so  much  wealth,  power,  and  privilege.     The  Moslem 


population  forced  its  way  in,  and  the  plan  of  the  RuUng  Institu- 
tion was  upset.  The  Moslem  Institution,  on  the  contrary,  was 
recruited  voluntarily  from  an  increasing  population;  hence,  as 
its  advantages  became  attractive,  it  was  benefited  rather  than 
harmed  by  pressure  for  admission.  Its  able  men,  while  they  must 
labor  if  they  would  advance,  were  free,  unhindered  in  their 
family  relationships,  and  under  little  fear  of  being  deprived  of 
property  or  Ufe. 


The  two  institutions,  running  everywhere  parallel,  with  their 
members  in  constant  association  one  with  the  other,  could  not 
fail  to  act  reciprocally  upon  each  other.  It  is  not  easy,  however, 
to  discriminate  likenesses  that  were  due  to  mutual  influence 
from  those  that  were  caused  by  common  circumstances;  nor 
is  it  easy  to  distinguish  pre-Ottoman  interactions  from  those 
which  operated  after  the  beginning  of  the  fourteenth  century. 
A  few  probabilities  may  be  expressed,  however. 

It  is  a  matter  of  frequent  remark  that  men,  institutions,  and 
peoples  are  apt  to  impart  to  each  other  their  faults  and  vices 
more  readily  than  their  good  qualities.  Whether  or  not  this  be 
true,  the  two  Ottoman  institutions  certainly  seem  to  have 
taught  each  other  some  evil  qualities.  Luxury,  venality,  and 
unnatural  vices  were  all  strongly  discountenanced  by  the  Sacred 
Law ;  but  all  were  fostered  in  the  members  of  the  RuUng  Institu- 
tion by  the  very  conditions  of  the  system,  and  by  the  sixteenth 
century  all  had  come  to  be  charged  against  the  members  of  the 
Moslem  Institution  as  well.  On  the  other  hand,  the  conserva- 
tism of  the  Moslem  Institution  and  its  resistance  to  progress 
came  more  and  more  to  characterize  the  Ruling  Institution. 
Members  of  the  Ulenia  taught  even  the  pages  of  the  palace  and 
the  princes  on  the  intellectual  side  of  their  training,  thereby 
exerting  a  constant  influence  which  in  the  course  of  time  operated 
powerfully  on  the  Ruling  Institution  from  top  to  bottom,  till  it, 
too,  began  to  acquire  a  changelessness  which  resisted  improve- 
ment and  progress.  With  such  a  character  once  established, 
the  end  of  the  empire's  greatness  was  at  hand.  In  a  rapidly 
progressing  world,  a  stationary  position  means  a  relative  decline. 


The  two  institutions  contributed  strongly  to  each  other's 
power  and  permanence.  The  RuHng  Institution  defended  the 
Moslem  Institution  by  the  sword,  and  carried  out  among  the 
people  the  decisions  of  its  wise  men.  It  also  protected  the  latter's 
sources  of  regular  revenue,  and  thus  enabled  the  Ulema,  secure 
of  a  living,  to  devote  themselves  to  the  study  and  teaching  of 
the  Sacred  Law.  The  Moslem  Institution,  on  the  other  hand, 
kept  the  Moslem  population  obedient  and  submissive  to  the 
sultan's  authority  as  expressed  in  the  Ruling  Institution.  It 
taught  that  the  Sultan  was  divinely  appointed  and  therefore 
always  to  be  obeyed,  no  matter  what  his  character  was  or  how 
oppressive  his  rule  might  become,  so  long  as  he  did  not  transgress 
the  Sacred  Law;  and  that  it  was  for  the  Ulema  alone  to  decide 
when  he  had  made  such  a  transgression.  Accordingly  the  two 
institutions,  so  long  as  they  acted  in  harmony,  were  absolutely 
impregnable  in  their  position  among  the  Moslems  of  the  empire. 

The  Relative  Power  of  the  Institutions 

These  two  institutions  constituted,  as  it  were,  the  two  great 
parties  in  the  Ottoman  state.^  The  Moslem  Institution  was 
always  strongly  Islamic,  and  extremely  conservative  in  all 
respects.  The  Ruling  Institution  was  originally  Uberal  both 
religiously  and  in  its  receptivity  of  new  ideas,  but  it  departed 
from  its  liberal  tendency  in  much  the  same  proportion  that  the 
Moslem  Institution  increased  in  power. 

To  trace  the  ups  and  downs  of  the  influence  of  the  two  institu- 
tions from  the  beginnings  of  Ottoman  history  would  be  an  inter- 
esting problem.  Much  depended  of  course,  as  must  always  be 
the  case  in  a  despotic  state,  on  the  character  of  the  sultan. 
With  an  active  conquering  sultan  like  Mohammed  II  or  Selim  I, 
the  Ruling  Institution  would  gain  upon  its  rival;  with  a  pious  or 
mild  sultan  like  Murad  II  or  Bayezid  II,  the  Moslem  Influence 
would  increase  in  importance.  Selim  I's  vast  conquests  in 
Moslem  territories,  and  his  acquisition  of  the  protectorate  of  the 
Holy  Cities  and  of  the  title  of  caliph,  prepared  the  way  for  a 

^  Halil  Ganem,  i.  201. 


later  advance  in  the  power  of  the  Moslem  Institution  which  was 
not  in  harmony  with  his  own  personal  influence.  Suleiman  had 
a  fiery  active  period  of  youth  when  the  liberal  policy  was  stronger 
in  his  mind,  and  a  quieter  old  age  when  the  Moslem  influence 
became  predominant;  it  is  not  unHkely  that  a  consciousness  of 
his  position  as  caliph  grew  upon  him  with  advancing  years. 
But  in  general,  through  all  the  reigns,  the  power  of  the  Moslem 
Institution  grew;  the  only  difference  from  reign  to  reign  was 
in  the  rate  of  speed.  The  Ruling  Institution  also  grew  in  power 
before  the  world  and  the  Ottoman  nation  as  long  as  the  empire 
continued  to  expand  rapidly;  but  it  did  not  grow  relatively  so 
fast  as  did  the  Moslem  Institution. 

The  reasons  for  the  more  rapid  growth  of  Moslem  influence  lay 
chiefly  in  the  fact  that  that  influence  was  cumulative.  As  to  its 
financial  basis,  the  Moslem  Institution,  like  the  Christian  church 
in  the  West,  gained  lands  and  wealth  continuafly,  and  never  lost 
any ;  for  sultans  took  great  pride,  and  high  officials  vied  with  each 
other,  in  founding  mosques,  schools,  colleges,  and  other  charitable 
and  semi-public  institutions  supported  by  vakjs}  In  general 
moral  and  political  influence,  also,  the  institution  gained  rapidly 
through  its  system  of  education;  for,  like  the  medieval  Christian 
church  again,  it  held  in  its  hands  all  the  means  and  methods  of 
intellectual  development.  Every  new  primary  school,  college, 
and  law  school,  —  and  they  were  many  in  the  days  of  glory,  — 
strengthened  the  influence  of  this  institution.  In  this  field, 
indeed,  its  power  acted  constantly  upon  its  rival.  Old  Hojas 
taught  the  pages  in  the  palace,  advised  the  sultan's  mother,  and 
trained  the  young  princes  and  the  sons  of  high  officials.  Thus 
within  the  nation  the  external  show  of  the  Moslem  Institution, 
and  its  sway  over  the  minds  of  men,  grew  without  ceasing. 

1  Spandugino,  207:  "  And  the  Turkish  lords  generally,  as  well  great  as  small, 
study  only  to  build  churches  and  hospitals  and  to  enrich  and  make  hostelries  for 
lodging  travelers,  to  improve  the  roads,  to  build  bridges,  to  construct  baths,  and 
several  other  charitable  works  which  they  do  in  such  a  way  that  I  suppose  the 
Turkish  lords  are  beyond  comparison  greater  alms-givers  than  our  Christian  lords; 
and  in  proportion  as  they  have  good  zeal,  they  use  great  hospitality.  They  volun- 
tarily lodge  Christian,  Turk,  and  Jew  alike."     See  also  Morosini,  270. 


The  Ruling  Institution,  on  the  other  hand,  lost  rehitivcly. 
In  the  early  clays,  when  recent  converts  were  exceedingly  nu- 
merous and  the  religious  spirit  of  the  young  nation  was  weak,  the 
Turkish-Aryan  organization  was  far  stronger  than  the  Semitic 
influence.  Sultans,  however,  were  constantly  giving  away  state 
lands  as  endowment  for  new  mosques  and  colleges;  and,  worse 
still,  so  much  of  the  educational  system  of  this  institution  as  was 
not  controlled  by  its  rival  was  directed  only  toward  its  own 
membership  and  not  toward  the  nation  at  large.  Accordingly, 
although  the  Ruling  Institution  grew  in  wealth  and  power,  it 
did  not  keep  pace  with  the  Moslem  Institution,  which,  after 
two  and  a  half  centuries  of  gain,  was  able  to  overtake  it  about 
the  time  of  Suleiman's  reign.  His  gifts  of  great  mosques, 
numerous  colleges,  and  vast  endowment,^  his  arrangement  in 
final  perfection  of  the  ciirsus  honorum  which  led  up  from  the 
primary  schools  to  the  office  of  Mufti,  and  the  personal  leaning 
of  his  later  years  toward  the  influence  of  the  Ulema,  settled 
permanently  the  preponderance  of  the  Moslem  Institution. 

At  the  same  time,  the  Moslem  Institution  could  never  destroy 
its  rival.  Theoretically  it  had  no  need  of  such  a  counterpart. 
Mohammed  and  the  early  caliphs  had  no  such  institution.  The 
Sacred  Law  developed  with  no  mention  of  a  secular  government, 
and  with  no  hint  of  any  deficiency  in  its  own  provisions  that  would 
make  it  inadequate  to  guide  a  nation  by  its  own  strength;  but, 
within  thirty  years  from  the  death  of  Mohammed,  Muavia  had 
set  up  a  secular  government  at  Damascus,  and  since  then  every 
Moslem  state  had  had  one.  Many  a  Moslem  state,  also,  had 
had  a  ruler  who  was  not  of  lawful  blood;  for  the  Sacred  Law 
affirmed  that  the  Imam,  or  divinely  appointed  ruler,  must  be  of 
the  tribe  of  the  Koreish.^  According  to  that  unenforced  provi- 
sion, Suleiman  himself  had  no  right  to  the  throne.  The  fact  is 
that  the  Moslem  Institution  very  early  became  too  unworldly 
to  live  unsupported  by  a  secular  power.     It  was  a  strong  but 

*  He  built  seven  mosques  (Hammer,  Geschichte,  iii.  456),  four  colleges  at  Mecca 
{ibid.  459),  four  colleges  around  the  Suleimanieh  Mosque  {ibid.  470),  and  endowed 
them  all,  etc. 

2  See  above,  p.  150. 


tender  hand,  which  must  always  wear  a  glove.  After  it  had 
acquired  a  permanent  ascendency  in  the  state,  therefore,  the 
Moslem  Institution  was  compelled  to  keep  its  rival  in  place,  and 
to  allow  it  always  strength  enough  to  defend  and  support  the 
empire  which  nourished  both. 

Bound  together  closely  in  an  alliance  which  neither  enjoyed, 
but  which  was  necessary  for  the  preservation  of  both,  the  Ruling 
Institution  and  the  Moslem  Institution  constituted  the  twofold 
inner  framework  of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  to  which  it  owed  all  its 
might  and  energy,  its  grandeur  and  repute,  its  continuity  and 




Written  in  1534,  supposedly  by  Benedetto  Ramberti 
Translated  from  the  Italian 

[From  Libfi  Tre  delle  Cose  de  Turchi,  as  printed  in  Viaggi  .  .  .  alia  tana,  Venice,  1543,  pp.  131-146.] 

As  from  a  laborious  and  very  dangerous  sea  into  a  safe  and  very 
quiet  port,  one  enters  the  city  of  Constantinople,  after  the  great 
trouble  and  inconvenience  of  the  ride  which  he  has  endured  over  the 
long  road.'  This  city  (to  continue  until  I  have  here  made  an  end  of 
particular  description)  was  anciently  called  Byzantium,  and  after- 
wards was  called  New  Rome,  and  then  Constantinople  from  the  first 
Constantine.  Byzantium,  as  it  is  reported,  was  in  the  region  where 
Pera  is  now,  and  was  so  named  from  the  river  Byzantium,  which  after- 
ward, by  reason  of  an  earthquake  such  as  are  frequent  in  that  region, 
changed  its  course  elsewhere.  But  I  do  not  believe  this,  nor  does  it 
seem  to  me  to  agree  with  the  description  of  Polybius  and  other  writers, 
who  call  those  here  Chalcedonians;  these,  when  they  might  themselves 
in  ancient  times  have  built  upon  this  site,  did  not  care  for  it,  but  built 
in  Asia,  not  having  discerned  the  convenience  and  beauty  they  were 
leaving  to  others;  who  might  deprive  them  even  of  their  own  site, 
as  indeed  happened. 

The  city  is  18  miles  in  circuit.  It  has  seven  Uttle  hills,  not  very 
high.  It  is  surrounded  by  wretched  walls,  and  is  full  of  houses,  not 
many  of  which  are  good,  being  made  of  clay  and  wood  and  only  a  few 
of  stone.  It  is  full  of  groves,  that  is,  of  places  wild  and  uninhabited, 
where  cypresses  grow,  and  other  such  trees.^  In  Constantinople, 
then,  is  the  palace  of  the  Turkish  Signor,  which  is  a  singular  structure 
and  very  large,  as  will  be  told  later. 

There  is  the  palace  of  the  ladies  of  the  Signor,  the  palace  of  the 
Janissaries,  the  Patriarcate,  the  palace  of  the  Emperor  Constantine, 
which  is  in  part  ruined,  the  church  of  St.  Sophia,  which  is  a  structure 
most  beautiful  and  divine;  this  was  built  by  the  Emperor  Justinian 
from  the  oldest  and  finest  columns  and  marbles,  as  one  can  see  now; 

^  Ramberti  came  overland  from  Ragusa  on  his  journey  from  Venice  to  Con- 

2  The  writer  seems  not  to  have  observed  that  these  groves  were  cemeteries. 



in  part  of  it  the  Turkish  Signer  has  made  stalls  for  his  horses.  There 
is  the  mosque  of  Sultan  Mohammed,  which  has  an  Imaret  attached 
to  it  that  is  like  a  hostel ;  in  which  they  lodge  any  one,  of  any  nation 
or  law,  who  may  wish  to  enter,  and  they  give  him  food  for  three  days, — 
honey,  rice,  meat,  bread,  and  water,  and  a  room  in  which  to  sleep. 
They  say  that  from  day  to  day  there  are  more  than  a  thousand  guests 
from  various  nations.  Near  this  they  have  baths  and  some  fountains, 
most  beautiful  and  delightful  to  behold.  There  are  the  mosques  of 
Sultan  Bayezid,  Sultan  Selim,  and  other  Signors,  which  are  very 
beautiful  and  exceedingly  well-built.  This  makes  it  clear  that,  when 
they  wash,  they  know  also  how  to  build  houses  and  palaces  that  are 
magnificent  and  sumptuous. 

There  is  the  Hippodrome,  that  is,  the  place  where  in  ancient  times 
horses  were  made  to  run  as  in  a  theater  and  circus:  in  the  center  of 
this  Hippodrome  there  stands  a  needle,  which  is  a  column  made  in 
the  form  of  a  needle,  very  beautiful  and  wrought  very  well  and  wathout 
mortar,  made  of  Uving  rocks  joined  together  in  such  a  manner  that 
they  rise  through  more  than  fifty  cubits,  tapering  in  the  shape  of  a 
needle,  which  rests  on  four  marble  balls.i  There  is  a  column  of  bronze 
in  the  shape  of  a  serpent  with  three  heads.^  There  is  a  bronze  Her- 
cules brought  from  Himgar}','  and  in  the  center  there  is  a  colossal 
structure  made  of  different  beautiful  marbles,  in  which  is  engraved 
the  history  of  all  the  above-mentioned  objects,  and  of  other  things 
which  used  to  stand  in  the  Theater  and  Hippodrome.  There  are 
throughout  the  city  many  vestiges  of  antiquities,  such  as  aqueducts, 
arches,  porphyry  columns,  fountains  brought  from  the  Danube  and 
other  near-by  rivers.^  Many  gardens  about  the  houses  of  the  great. 
Many  mosques  of  private  lords,  and  baths  which  are  attached  to  the 
mosques  of  private  men  and  of  public  magistrates. 

On  the  other  side  of  the  sea  from  the  Seraglio  Point  are  the  hills  of 
Asia,  and  the  journey  is  of  a  little  more  or  less  than  two  miles;  this 
Asia  is  to-day  called  by  a  single  name  Anatolia ;  and  there  are  on  the 
shore  there  some  fortresses  called  Scutari.    Then  Kadikeui,  situated 

^  The  writer  evidently  did  not  know  that  this  Egyptian  obelisk  consists  of  a 
single  stone.     It  actually  rests  on  four  bronze  cubes. 

2  This  was  the  support  of  the  tripod  of  the  priestess  at  Delphi.  The  heads  have 
been  broken  off,  and  are  now  in  the  treasury  of  the  Old  Seraglio  at  Constantinople. 

2  This  was  overthrowTi  at  the  downfall  of  Ibrahim  in  1536. 

*  This  remarkable  statement  is  probably  the  source  of  Nicolay's  similar  idea 
(p.  77).    The  Danube  is  more  than  two  hundred  miles  distant  from  Constantinople. 


on  a  bay  of  the  Hellespont/  where  one  can  see  many  vestiges  of  antiq- 
uities; and  I,  when  I  went  there,  saw  underground  where  men  were 
working,  a  well  of  the  finest  marble  with  an  aqueduct  which  came  to 
the  center  of  the  well,  and  a  canopy  of  fine  marble  supported  by  four 
beautiful  columns.  And  in  other  places  there  appear  many  vestiges 
of  old  churches,  both  of  Christians  and  of  heathen,  places  indeed  most 
beautiful,  most  pleasant,  most  fruitful.  The  situation  of  Constanti- 
nople is  such  that  not  only  can  it  not  be  described  adequately,  but  it 
can  hardly  be  grasped  in  thought  because  of  its  loveHness.  Cer- 
tainly it  is  rather  to  be  considered  divine  than  otherwise.  Nor  is  there 
any  one  who  has  seen  it  who  has  not  judged  it  worthy  to  be  ranked 
above  all  other  situations  in  the  world. 

There  are  in  the  city  besides  the  Turks,  countless  Jews,  or  Marrani 
expelled  from  Spain;  2  these  are  they  who  have  taught  and  who  are 
teaching  every  useful  art  to  the  Turks;  ^  and  the  greater  part  of  the 
shops  and  arts  are  kept  and  exercised  by  these  Marrani.  There  is  a 
place  which  is  called  Bezestan,  where  they  sell  and  buy  all  sorts  of 
cloth  and  Turkish  wares,  silks,  stuffs,  linens,  silver,  wrought  gold, 
bows,  slaves,  and  horses;  and  in  short  all  the  things  that  are  to  be 
found  in  Constantinople  are  brought  there  to  market:  this,  except  for 
Friday,  is  open  every  day. 

Constantinople  is  in  Thrace:  this  has  as  its  boundaries  on  the  east 
the  Propontis  and  the  mouths  of  the  greater  sea,  on  the  west  part  of 
Bulgaria  and  part  of  Macedonia,  on  the  north  Bosnia,  on  the  south 
the  Aegean  Sea  with  part  of  Macedonia  which  lies  toward  the  river 
Nishava,  called  in  ancient  times  the  Nesus."* 

This  most  noble  city  is  inhabited  by  Turks:  these  as  the  more 
reliable  authors  have  written,  and  as  many  of  the  Turks  themselves 
have  confirmed  to  me,  had  their  origin  in  Scythia,  which  now  is  a 
part  of  Tartary,  a  northern  region  divided  into  two  parts  by  the 
river  Don:  one  of  these  parts  is  in  Europe,  and  one  in  Asia.^  The 
European  part  is  bounded  on  one  side  by  Pontus,  and  on  the  other  by 
the  Riphean  Mountains,  and  at  the  back  by  Asia  proper  and  the  river 

*  Rather,  of  the  Sea  of  Marmora. 

2  Marrani:  Jews  and  Moors  of  Spain,  baptized,  but  remaining  true  to  their  own 

*  This  statement  and  the  following  one  are  certainly  exaggerations. 

*  Either  the  writer's  geographical  knowledge  or  the  te.\t  is  in  confusion.  The 
description  here,  as  well  as  that  which  follows,  cannot  be  made  to  fit  the  map. 

^  The  boundary  between  Europe  and  Asia  is  now,  of  course,  placed  far  to  the 
east  of  the  Don. 


Taspus.  In  Ptolemy  these  two  Scythias  are  called  the  one  intra 
Imaum  moniem,  and  the  other  extra  Imaum.  They  departed  then 
from  Scythia  (as  is  said  above)  and  began  to  make  invasions  and  raids 
into  their  present  confines:  then  proceeding  farther,  in  a  short  time 
they  became  lords  of  a  good  part  of  Asia,  but  because  they  did  not 
know  how  to  keep  only  one  chief  among  them,  they  had  no  foundation 
or  firmness.  This  circumstance  having  been  considered  by  one  who 
was  called  Othman,  a  man  of  low  rank  among  them,  but  of  lofty  and 
valorous  mind,  he  thought  that,  by  having  the  arm  and  the  favor  of 
some  men  of  intelligence  and  authority,  he  could  easily  rule  all  this 
people  and  the  conquered  territory,  and  increase  it  further  upon  good 
opportunity:  then  having  revealed  this  his  thought  to  three  persons, 
who  seemed  more  suitable  than  others  for  this  business,  he  promised 
that  those  by  means  of  whom  he  might  acquire  the  dominion  to  which 
he  aspired,  he  would  always  maintain,  both  themselves  and  their 
descendants,  in  great  state  and  dignity,  and  smtably  to  the  great 
benefit  which  he  had  received  from  them:  besides  this  that  he  would 
never  harm  their  blood  nor  that  of  their  posterity  through  laws  that 
would  lay  hands  upon  them  even  if  they  should  transgress  grievously. ' 
They  accepted  the  condition  and  conspired  together  for  the  sover- 
eignty ;  which  they  obtained  by  astuteness,  artfulness,  threats,  and  the 
slaughter  of  many.  These  three  were  called,  the  one  Michael,  a 
Greek  who  had  turned  Turk;  from  him  the  Marcalogli  2  are  descended; 
one  of  them  is  now  Sanjak  in  Bosnia.  The  second  was  Malco,  a 
Greek  renegade;  from  him  have  come  the  Malcozogli,  and  there  is 
now  only  one,  who  is  Sanjak  in  Greece.  The  third  was  Aurami,  a 
native  Turk;  his  descendants  were  called  the  Eurcasli;  it  is  not  now 
known  that  any  of  these  remain.  In  case  the  Ottoman  family  should 
fail,  these  would  pretend  to  the  sovereignty,  and  therefore  they  are 
highly  respected. 

This  Othman  came  to  power  about  the  year  1300,  and  lived  in 
lordship  twenty-eight  years:  ^  Orchan  succeeded  him  and  lived 
twenty-two  years  in  the  kingship.  Then  Murad  who  reigned  twenty- 
three  years.    Then  Bayezid.    Then  Chiris  Celeby,  or,  as  others  wish, 

^  Compare  Junis  Bey,  below,  pp.  272,  273. 

2  Michaloghli. 

'  More  accurately,  Othman,  beginning  in  1299,  ruled  27  years;  Orchan,  33 
years;  Murad  I,  30  years;  Bayezid  I,  13  years;  Mohammed  I  (Chelebi)  in  undis- 
puted rule  8  years,  after  11  years  of  civil  war;  Murad  II,  30  years;  Mohammed  II, 
30  years;  Bayezid  II,  31  years;  Selim,  8  years,  until  his  death  in  1520,  when 
Suleiman  came  to  the  throne. 


Calepino,  who  lived  about  six  years.  Then  Mohammed,  who  reigned 
fourteen  years. '  Then  Murad  II  who  reigned  31  years.  Then 
Mohammed  II  who  reigned  32  years  and  was  the  first  Emperor  of  Con- 
stantinople. Then  Bayczid  II  who  reigned  31  years.  Then  Selim 
eight  years:  to  him  succeeded  Sultan  Suleiman,  his  only  son,  who 
reigns  at  present.  Of  this  succession  it  is  written  otherwise  in  some 
histories,  where  they  treat  of  wars  and  peaces,  which  have  been  made 
by  our  republic  in  times  past  with  this  family:  but  since  I  have 
recounted  these  in  other  places,  it  now  suffices  to  have  noticed  the 
common  opinion  of  those  who  have  written  of  the  affairs  of  the  Turks 
up  to  this  time.  And  so  I  will  go  on  to  describe  the  court  of  this 
Signor:  it  is  arranged  in  the  following  manner.^ 

Sultan  Suleiman  has  a  palace  in  the  angle  of  Constantinople 
by  the  two  seas:  ^  this  is  in  circuit  about  three  miles:  and  in  it  are  his 
residence  and  his  court,  which  is  called  the  PORTE.  This  palace, 
because  it  was  begun  to  be  built  by  Sultan  Mohammed,  he  willed 
when  dying  that  it  should  be  rent-paying  property  of  his  mosque, 
and  that  it  should  pay  a  thousand  aspers  a  day,  which  are  twenty 
ducats;  and  this  has  been  observed  to  the  present.'' 

He  has  in  the  aforesaid  palace  countless  highly  ornamented  cham- 
bers, but  one  among  the  others  is  set  apart  for  himself:  in  this  he  sleeps, 
and  he  has  there  six  youths  who  serve  his  person.^  Of  these  six,  two 
are  deputed  for  the  serv^ice  of  the  chamber  and  the  Signor  during  the 
day,  and  then  in  the  night  the  same  ones  come  to  keep  guard  when  he 
sleeps:  these  stand  ever  vigilant,  the  one  at  his  head  and  the  other  at 
his  feet,  with  two  lighted  torches  in  their  hands:  these  two  then  in 
the  morning  when  they  clothe  the  aforesaid  Signor,  put  into  one  of 
the  pocket-purses  of  his  caftan  a  thousand  aspers,  and  into  the  other 
twenty  golden  ducats;  whatever  of  this  money  is  not  given  away  by 
the  Signor  during  the  day,  remains  to  those  who  undress  him  at  night; 
they  never  find  much  in  the  garments,  according  to  report.  And 
always  when  he  goes  forth  to  enjoy  the  chase  or  for  some  other  purpose, 
besides  the  aforesaid  money  which  he  carries,  he  is  accustomed  always 

*  Celeby  and  Calepino  are  forms  of  Chelebi,  the  Gentleman,  which  was  an  appella- 
tion of  Mohammed  I;   these  three  names,  therefore,  refer  to  the  same  person. 

2  At  this  point  the  writer  begins  to  follow  the  pamphlet  of  Junis  Bey. 
'  Seraglio  Point  is  thrust  out  into  the  Bosphorus  just  before  it  meets  the  Sea  of 

*  The  land  on  which  Mohammed's  palace  was  built  had  belonged  to  the  church 
of  St.  Sophia  under  the  Byzantine  Empire.     See  above,  p.  202. 

^  Junis  Bey  speaks  of  eight  youths,  but  names  six,  as  below. 


to  have  behind  him  the  Khazinehdar-bashi,  or  chief  treasurer;   this 
man  carries  with  him  a  great  sum  of  money  to  be  given  away. 

The  duty  of  the  aforesaid  six  youths,  who  are  changed  according  to 
the  will  of  the  Signor,  is:  of  one  to  be  Papuji,^  or  him  who  bears  the 
shoes,  of  another  Silihdar,  who  bears  the  bow  and  arrows,  of  another 
Chokadar,  who  bears  the  garments,  of  another  Sharabdar,  who  bears 
the  pitcher  of  water,  of  another  Iskemleji,  who  carries  the  stool,  and 
then  of  the  sixth  to  be  Oda-bashi,  or  chief  of  the  Chamber.  These  have 
a  fixed  salary  of  15  to  20,  and  the  Oda-bashi  of  30  aspers  per  day. 
Next  comes 
The  eunuch  Kapu  Aghast,^  or  chief  of  the  gate,  who  has  60  aspers  per 

The  Khazinehdar-bashi,  a  eunuch,  chief  treasurer,  60  aspers.^ 
The  Kilerji-bashi,  chief  of  the  butlers,  40  aspers. 
The  Seraidar-bashi,^  a  eunuch,  chief  of  the  palace  when  the  Signor 
is  away;  he  has  50  aspers.    Twelve  eunuchs  subject  to  the  aforesaid, 
with  10  to  15  aspers  each. 

There  are  next  about  five  hundred  youths  aged  from  eight  to 
twenty  years,  who  reside  in  the  palace  and  are  the  delight  of  the 
Signor:  they  have  each  from  ten  to  twelve  aspers  per  day ;  they  are 
instructed  in  various  arts  according  to  their  genius,  but  especially 
in  reading,  writing,  and  in  the  doctrine  of  their  laws,  and  in  riding. 
The  masters  are  old  Danishmends,*  called  Hojas,  or  doctors  of  the 
laws.  These  boys  at  the  season  of  Bairam,  which  is  like  our  Easter 
day,  are  clothed  by  the  Signor,  some  with  silk  and  some  with  cloth, 
without  any  uniformity;  and  each  has  a  golden  bonnet,  a  scimitar, 
and  a  bow:  they  never  leave  the  aforesaid  palace  until  they  have 
reached  the  age  when  the  Signor  thinks  them  fit  for  offices:  and 
then  he  makes  them  Spahi-oghlans,  or  Silihdars,  or  of  higher  degrees 
according  to  their  worth  and  the  favor  which  they  have  gained  with 
the  Signor.  Each  ten  of  them  are  guarded  by  a  eunuch  called  Kapu- 
oghlan,  or  chief  of  youths,^  and  each  has  a  slave's  frock,  in  which 
he  sleeps  rolled  up  in  such  a  manner  that  he  does  not  touch  another 

^  After  Junis  Bey.     The  word  here  is  "  Chiuchler.^' 

2  There  were  two  treasurers  of  the  household,  bearing  the  same  name.  One 
labored  within  the  palace,  and  one  without.     See  above,  p.  127 

3  There  is  confusion  here.  The  Kapu  Aghasi  and  the  Seraidar-bashi  were  the 
same  person.  The  chief  of  the  gate  is  rightly  called  the  Kapuji-bashi.  Junis  Bey 
shows  similar  confusion  (below,  p.  263).     See  above,  p.  126;  and  Redhouse,  1435. 

^  "  Talismani."     See  above,  p.  205. 

6  "  Capoglano."    The  derivation  is  faulty;  the  literal  meaning  is  "  gate-youth." 


who  may  be  near  him.  They  reside  in  a  large  hall,  full  of  great 
lights  and  spacious,  and  their  eunuchs  sleep  in  the  middle  of  this 
hall.  They  have  a  garden  in  the  palace,  which  extends  more  than  a 
mile,  in  which  reside  about  thirty-five  gardeners,  called  Bostanjis, 
who  are  Ajem-oghlans: »  these  gardeners  have  from  three  to  five 
aspers  each  per  day;  they  are  clothed  in  blue  cloth,  and  given  a  shirt. 
Then  when  they  leave  the  palace,  they  become  Janissaries,  or 
Solaks,  or  Kapujis,  or  something  else  according  to  their  quality. 

The  Bostanji-bashi,  or  chief  gardener,  has  fifty  aspers  a  day  and 
many  perquisites. 

The  Kiaya,-  who  is,  as  it  were,  a  lieutenant  for  the  gardeners,  has 
20  aspers  per  day;  and  each  ten  [gardeners]  have  a  chief  called 
Boluk-bashi.  From  this  garden,  which  is  very  large  and  well- 
tended,  full  of  excellent  fruit-trees  of  every  sort,  they  obtain  so 
much  every  year  that  from  the  product  of  it  alone  they  make  the 
living  expenses  of  the  Signor,  and  also  get  something  more.  Near 
the  garden  are  always  stationed  two  small  galleys ;  these  are  rowed 
by  the  gardeners  when  the  Signor  goes  on  a  pleasure-trip,  and  the 
Boluk-bashi  holds  the  helm.^ 

The  Ashji-bashi,  chief  cook,  with  fifty  cooks  under  him.  He  has 
40  aspers  per  day,  the  cooks  under  him  four,  six,  or  eight  aspers 

The  Helvaji-bashi,  or  chief  confectioner,  with  40  aspers,  and  he  has 
thirty  companions  with  five  to  six  aspers  per  day  each. 

The  Chasnijir-bashi,*  chief  of  the  cupboards,  with  eighty  aspers: 
morning  and  evening  he  brings  with  his  owti  hand  the  dish  of  the 
Signor,  and  he  has  under  him  a  hundred  Chasnijirs  with  from  three  to 
seventy  aspers  each.^ 

The  Mutbakh-emini,^  or  steward,  with  40  aspers.  He  has  a  secretary 
with  20  aspers  a  day. 

A  hundred  Ajem-oghlans,  who  transport  on  carts  the  wood  of  the 
palace.  They  have  three  to  five  aspers,  and  are  provided  with 


*  "  GlanizzeroHi."    Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  263,  speaks  of  400  gardeners,  which  is 
probably  more  nearly  correct. 

^  "  Protogcro."    Kiaya,  or  by  transliteration  Kelhhuda,  is  the  Turkish  word. 
See  above,  p.  q6,  note  4. 

3  This  should  read  "  the  Bostanji-bashi  ":  Junis  Bey,  263. 

*  The  chief  taster. 

^  Junis  Bey,  264,  says  five  to  six  aspers  each. 
^  Intendant  or  steward  of  the  kitchen. 


Ten  Sakkas,  who  carry  water  on  horse-back  in  leathern  sacks,  with 
three  to  five  aspers  each. 

The  expenses  for  the  table  of  the  Signor,  and  of  the  youths  with 
their  eunuchs  and  others  to  about  a  thousand,  amount  to  five 
thousand  aspers  a  day. 

Three  Kapuji-bashis,  or  captains  of  the  gate,  who  have  a  hundred 
aspers  a  day  and  are  clothed  every  year:  and  they  have  under 
them  two  hundred  and  fifty  Kapujis,  who  have  five  to  six  aspers 
each;  and  each  Kapuji-bashi  with  a  third  of  the  Kapujis  is  obliged 
to  keep  guard  at  the  gate  of  the  Signor,  changing  from  day  to  day. 
And  when  any  ambassador  or  other  person  goes  to  kiss  the  hand  of 
the  Grand  Signor,  all  these  are  given  presents  of  clothes  or  of  money 
according  to  the  degree  of  him  who  is  introduced. 

A  Kapuji-kiaya,  who  is,  as  it  were,  a  lieutenant  of  the  Kapujis,  has 
forty  aspers  a  day. 

Four  Vizier  Pashas,  or  chief  counsellors :  the  greatest  has  ordinarily 
twenty-four  thousand  ducats  a  year  and  the  others  sixteen  to 
eighteen  thousand;  but  they  have  also  so  much  feudal  income  that 
they  receive  three  times  as  much  as  the  provision  in  money. ^  To 
this  should  be  added  the  garments  which  the  Signor  gives  them,  the 
presents  of  ambassadors  and  of  others,  the  perquisites  of  the  ol3ice 
they  hold,  which  are  unlimited.  At  present  they  are  only  three. 
The  first  is  Ibrahim,  born  a  Christian  at  Parga.  The  second  Aias 
of  Khimara.  The  third  Kassim  of  Croatia,  a  kidnapped  Christian. 
To  these  there  is  added  a  fourth  at  present,^  who  is  Khaireddin  Bey 
Barbarossa  of  the  Albanian  nation,  formerly  a  corsair  and  now 
king  of  Algiers  in  Barbary.  These  Pashas  live  and  dress  very 
superbly.  They  have:  Ibrahim  six  thousand  and  more  slaves, 
Aias  two  thousand,  Kassim  fifteen  hundred,  and  Barbarossa  about 
four  thousand.  To  all  these  slaves  they  give  pay,  horses,  garments, 
golden  bonnets  and  silver  chains,*  according  to  their  oflSces  and 
degrees.  And  these  serve  their  Pashas  under  the  same  arrangements 
by  which  the  Signor  is  served  by  his  [slaves].  They  have  also 
twenty-five  or  thirty  chancery  secretaries  to  the  Signor,  men  of  great 
repute,  with  twenty-five  to  thirty  aspers  per  day  each:  they  keep 

^  The  word  translated  "  feudal  income,"  or  "  feudal  grant,"  is  "  timar."    See 
above,  p.  100  ff. 

2  This  sentence  was  evidently  inserted  after  the  previous  part  of  the  paragraph 
had  been  written.     See  below,  p.  255. 

3  "  Centola." 


more  or  fewer  slaves  as  they  can.  These  Pashas  have  entry  to  the 
Signer  for  affairs  of  state;  and  it  is  in  fact  they  who  govern  the  whole 
after  their  own  fashion. 

There  is  next  the  Mufti,  or  the  interpreter  and  chief  of  the  laws; 
they  do  not  trouble  him  about  anything  except  the  affairs  of  relig- 
ion and  their  faith,  and  he  has  the  position  which  our  Pope  had  in 
ancient  times.^ 

Two  Kaziasker  Danishmends,  or  doctors  of  the  laws  for  the  army, 
one  for  Greece,  the  other  for  Anatolia.  Their  position  is  of  great 
importance.  They  sit  at  the  Porte  and  have  precedence  of  the 
Vizier  Pashas:  on  this  account  they  are  much  esteemed.  They 
are  executors  of  the  laws,  and  with  the  consent  of  the  Pashas  they 
appoint  and  remove  the  Kazis,  who  are  like  podestas  for  the  whole 
country.  They  have  feudal  income  of  about  six  thousand  ducats 
a  year  each.  They  keep  two  hundred  to  three  hundred  slaves  each, 
and  they  are  accompanied  by  ten  secretaries  appointed  by  the  Signor 
and  two  Mochtur-bashis,  who  hold  the  office  of  ushers:  ^  these  live 
from  perquisites,  of  which  they  have  a  great  many. 

Two  Defterdars,  or  treasurers,  or  rather,  as  we  would  say,  gover- 
nors of  the  revenues.  One  of  these  has  the  receipt  and  the  care  of 
those  revenues  which  come  from  a  third  of  Greece,  or  from  that  part 
which  is  toward  the  Danube,  and  besides,  from  Asia,  from  Syria, 
and  from  Egypt,  with  feudal  income  of  ten  thousand  ducats  a  year, 
although  with  the  perquisites  he  gets  twice  as  much.  The  other  has 
the  care  of  the  other  two-thirds  of  Greece:  but  when  the  Signor 
takes  the  field  this  man  remains  in  Constantinople  as  his  vicar  and 
lieutenant;  and  he  has  six  thousand  ducats  of  feudal  income,  but 
gets  three  times  as  much;  and  their  position  is  of  great  dignity. 
They  have  under  them  fifty  clerks  with  many  helpers:  these  keep 
the  accounts  of  the  Khazineh,  or  treasury  of  the  Signor;  and  these 
clerks  are  appointed  by  the  Signor  with  pay  of  fifteen  to  fifty  aspers 
per  day  each.  The  Defterdars  have,  the  first  a  thousand  slaves  and 
the  second  five  hundred,  and  the  clerks  from  two  to  twenty  slaves 

Two  Rusnamehjis,  chief  clerks,  who  receive  the  money  and  disburse 
it  as  needed,  with   twenty-five  companions   besides   themselves. 

*  This  remark  seems  to  contain  a  comparison  between  the  relation  of  the  pope 
to  the  Roman  emperor  and  that  of  the  Mufti  to  the  sultan.  Such  a  comparison 
would,  however,  be  inexact.     See  above,  p.  209. 

*  "  Cavalleria."    Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  265,  calls  them  cursori. 

*  Junis  Bey,  266,  says  15  to  20  slaves  each. 


The  two  have  forty  aspers  each,  and  the  twenty-five  have  eight  to 
ten  aspers  a  day. 

Two  Veznedars,  or  weighers  of  aspers  and  ducats,  with  twenty-five 
to  thirty  aspers  each. 

Six  Sarrafs,  or  bankers,  who  know  gold  and  silver  [coins],  and  they 
have  ten  to  fifteen  aspers  each. 

One  Nishanji-bashi,  who  signs  the  ordinances  and  public  writings 
with  the  monogram  of  the  Signor.  His  position  is  Hke  that  of 
grand  chancellor  and  is  of  great  repute.  He  sits  at  the  Porte 
below  the  Beylerbeys.  He  has  eight  thousand  ducats  of  feudal 
income,  and  travels  in  great  honor  with  more  than  three  hundred 

An  outside  Khazinehdar-bashi,  or  household  treasurer,  with  ten 
Khazinehdars  under  him.  He  has  fifty  aspers,  and  they  ten  to 
fifteen  per  day. 

A  Defter-emini,  who  has  charge  of  the  feudal  grants:  he  keeps  the 
register  of  those  who  receive  feudal  grants.  He  has  forty  aspers  a 
day,  and  under  him  are  ten  clerks  with  ten  to  fifteen  aspers  per  day 

Eighty  Muteferrika,  or  lancers  of  the  body-guard  1  of  the  Signor, 
these  always  carry  lances  when  he  takes  the  field;  they  recognize 
no  other  head  than  the  Signor  himself.  And  when  by  artifice  or 
merit  they  acquire  favor,  they  are  made  Aghas,  or  generals.  The 
least  has  ten,  the  greatest  eighty,  aspers  per  day. 

A  Chaush-bashi,  or  chief  sergeant  of  the  army.  He  is  of  so  great 
credit  with  every  one,  that  when  he  is  sent  by  the  Signor  to  some 
Pasha,  Sanjak,  or  Kazi,  with  the  order  to  have  the  head  of  such  and 
such  a  one  cut  off,  he  is  obeyed  without  their  requiring  a  letter  from 
him,  or  a  command  in  writing;  not  otherwise  than  if  the  Signor 
himself  were  there,  and  gave  command.  He  has  a  hundred  aspers  a 
day,  and  under  him  he  keeps  a  hundred  slaves,^  with  twenty-five  to 
forty  aspers  each. 

The  Mihter-bashi,  or  chief  of  those  who  pitch  the  tents  and  spread  the 
rugs,  who  sweep  the  court-yards  and  attend  to  other  similar  duties; 
he  has  forty  aspers,  a  Kiaya  with  twenty-five  aspers,  sLxty  Mihters 
with  five  to  eight  aspers  each;  and  they  are  clothed  every  year  by 
the  Signor. 

1  "  Spezzale." 

2  That  the  other  Chaushes  were  slaves  not  of  the  Chaush-bashi,  but  of  the  sultan, 
is  shown  by  the  amount  of  their  pay.     See  Junis  Bey's  testimony  below,  p.  265. 


An  Agha,  or  general  of  the  Janissaries.  He  has  for  pay  a  thousand 
aspers  and  over  per  day,  and  six  thousand  ducats  of  feudal  grant 
per  year.  When  this  Agha  holds  court,  which  is  two  or  three  times 
per  week,  he  is  obliged  to  give  the  Janissaries  to  eat,  a  meal  of  bread, 
rice,  mutton,  honey,  and  water.  He  has  under  him  a  Kiaya  or 
Secretary  of  the  Janissaries,  who  is,  as  it  were,  a  vicegerent;  he  has 
two  hundred  aspers  per  day  of  pay  in  cash,  and  thirty  thousand  of 
feudal  grant  per  year.'  And  there  is  a  clerk  of  these  Janissaries, 
called  the  Yaziji  of  the  Janissaries,-  with  a  hundred  aspers  a  day. 

A  Seymen-bashi,  chief  of  the  harriers."^  He  has  a  hundred  aspers  and 
has  from  the  number  of  the  Janissaries  about  two  thousand  under 

A  Zagarji-bashi,  head  of  the  hounds.''  He  has  fifty  aspers  a  day, 
and  has  under  him  about  seven  hundred  of  the  Janissaries. 

The  Janissaries  number  about  twelve  thousand:  they  have  each 
from  three  to  eight  aspers  of  pay  per  day.  Each  ten  has  its  Oda- 
bashi,  and  each  hundred  has  its  Boliik-bashi.  And  these  heads  of 
ten  or  of  a  hundred  go  on  horseback.  And  the  Oda-bashis  have 
forty,  and  the  Boluk-bashis  sixty  aspers  a  day.  The  remainder  of 
the  Janissaries  go  on  foot.  They  are  clothed  once  a  year  by  the 
Signor  with  coarse  blue  cloth.  They  have  their  residence  in  two 
barracks  in  Constantinople  given  by  the  Signor.  Those  who  have 
no  wives  reside  in  these.  Those  who  are  married  reside  at  various 
places  in  the  city.  For  their  living  expenses  each  contributes  so 
much  a  day,  and  they  have  a  steward  and  a  cook,  who  provide  their 
necessary  living:  and  those  who  have  less  pay  than  the  others  are 
obliged  to  serve  those  who  have  more  pay  than  they.  Every 
hundred  of  them  when  they  take  the  field  transport  a  tent.  They 
go  on  foot,  and  part  of  them  are  musketeers,  and  part  halbardiers, 
and  part  use  the  scimetar  alone.  Every  three  lead  a  horse  which 
carries  their  clothing.  And  when  they  come  to  old  age,  or  when  for 
some  other  reason  the  service  of  one  of  them  does  not  please  the 
Signor,  they  are  stricken  from  the  book  of  the  Janissaries,  and  are 
sent  as  Hissarlis  ^  or  castle  guards ;  and  those  of  their  officers  who  are 
deposed  for  such  a  reason,  are  sent  as  castellans  with  a  feudal  grant 
equivalent  to  the  pay  which  they  had  previously,  in  such  a  way  that 

*  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  266,  says  that  the  Kiaya  of  the  Janissaries  has  300 
ducats  of  feudal  grant  per  year,  which  would  equal  about  15,000  aspers. 
2  "  Giannizzeriasis."  *  "  Bracchi." 

»  "  Livreri."  '  "  Assareri." 


none  of  them  suffers  hardship.  Such  of  them  as  succeed  in  war  are 
made  Voivodes,^  and  raised  to  high  positions.  They  come  as  boys 
to  this  soldiery  and  are  taught  by  the  experienced  ones.  They 
choose  healthy  ones,  well-built,  but  nimble  and  dextrous,  lively 
above  all,  and  more  often  cruel  than  compassionate.  In  them  rests 
the  force  and  all  the  firmness  of  the  army  of  the  Turk;  they,  because 
they  are  always  exercising  and  living  together,  all  become  as  it  were 
a  single  body,  and  of  a  truth  they  are  terrible. ^ 

From  the  Janissaries  are  chosen  a  hundred  and  fifty  Solaks,  who 
are  footmen  of  the  Signor,  with  fifteen  to  twenty  aspers  a  day 
each:  they  march  surrounding  the  person  of  the  Signor  every  time 
he  goes  forth. 

Two  Solak-bashis,  chief  ofi&cers  of  the  Solaks,  who  go  on  horse- 
back, with  thirty  aspers  per  day.  And  these  and  the  Solaks  are 
in  obedience  to  the  Agha  of  the  Janissaries. 

An  Agha  of  the  Spahi-oghlans,  an  oflace  of  great  honor.  He  has 
from  feudal  grant  and  pay  ten  ducats  a  day,  and  he  has  a  large 
number  of  slaves,  with  a  Kiaya  under  him,  or  lieutenant:  this  man 
has  from  feudal  grant  and  pay  a  hundred  aspers  a  day.  And  also  a 
Yaziji,  or  secretary,  with  thirty  aspers,  and  with  large  perquisites. 

The  Spahi-oghlans,  or  youths  on  horseback,  who  may  be  called  Spahi- 
oghlan,  are  more  than  three  thousand;  and  they  have  twenty 
to  forty  aspers  each ;  and  every  twenty  have  a  5o/M^-ia5/«'.  These 
serve  on  horseback,  each  with  five  or  six  slaves  and  a  like  number  of 
horses.  And  they  always  journey,  and  also  encamp,  at  the  right 
hand  of  the  Signor.  They  are  great  people.  From  them  the  Signor 
is  wont  to  choose  his  chief  men.  They  are  first  put  as  boys  into  the 
palace,  and  when  they  grow  up  they  succeed  well  if  they  attain  this 
grade:  it  is  like  a  ladder  to  mount  to  higher  positions. 

An  Agha  of  the  Silihdars,  who  has  thirty  thousand  aspers  a  day ,3 
and  under  him  a  lieutenant,  a  secretary,  a  Kiaya,^  with  thirty 
aspers  and  more  each. 

There  are  three  thousand  Silihdars.  They  moreover  ride  and 
encamp  at  the  left  hand  of  the  Signor.     They  have  twenty  to 

*  This  Slavonic  word  seems  to  be  used  here  simply  in  the  sense  of  "  army  officers." 
2  "  Immensi." 

'  This  is  an  error.     Probably  the  number  intended  is  three  hundred.     Junis 
Bey,  below,  p.  267,  gives  two  hundred  and  fifty. 

*  Only  two  ofiScers  should  be  named  here.     The  lieutenant  (Protogero)  and  the 
Kiaya  were  the  same.    Junis  Bey  gives  this  correctly. 


twenty-five  aspers  per  day  each,  and  they  have  four  or  five  slaves 
and  a  like  number  of  horses,  with  feudal  income  for  their  living. 
They  are  trained  by  the  same  education  with  which  the  Spahis 
are  brought  up:  nor  is  there  any  difTerence  between  them,  except 
that  the  Spahis  go  on  the  right,  and  these  on  the  left,  of  the  Signor. 

Two  Ulufaji-baslns,  or  chief  officers  of  soldiers,  with  two  thousand 
Ulufajis,  who  go  on  the  right  hand  and  the  left  of  the  Signor.  The 
chief  officers  have  a  hundred  and  twenty  aspers,  and  the  others  eight 
to  sLxteen  aspers;  then  under  them  ^  they  have  a  Kiaya,  a  secretary, 
and  a  lieutenant,^  with  slaves  and  with  horses,  some  more  and  some 

Two  Aghas,  chief  officers  of  the  Ghureha-oghlans,  or  poor  youths^ 
with  eighty  aspers  each.  Kiayas,  thirty  aspers.  Secretaries, 
twenty-five.  And  they  have  under  them  about  two  thousand 
Ghureba-oghlans  with  seven  to  fourteen  aspers  per  day:  these  have 
slaves  and  horses. 

Two  Emir-al-Akhors*  or  masters  of  the  stable,  a  greater  and  a 
lesser.  The  greater  has  five  hundred  aspers,  the  lesser  two  hundred, 
with  lieutenant  and  Kiaya  ^  and  others,  who  have  thirty  to  forty 
aspers  each. 

Sixteen  thousand  altogether  of  Serraj,  who  have  charge  of  bridles  ® 
and  saddles;  Ceyssi,  or  stable  servants;  Carmandari,  who  take 
care  of  the  mules;  Deveji,  who  take  care  of  the  camels,  and  Cavriliji, 
who  herd  the  cattle  and  horses  in  various  places.  These  have 
two  to  twenty  aspers  per  day  each. 

Thirty  to  forty  Peiks,  or  runners  on  foot,  men  who  when  boys  have 
had  their  spleens  removed:^  and  they  run  post  on  foot  with  great 
speed.  These  when  the  Signor  goes  forth  remain  continually  near, 
so  that  he  may  employ  them  according  to  his  needs. 

Select  horses  about  four  thousand  for  the  person  of  the  Signor; 
on  these  the  pages  of  the  palace  and  the  eunuchs  ride  for  exercise  in 
their  turns. 

*  Under  each  Agha,  or  chief  officer. 

2  The  Kiaya  and  the  lieutenant  are  the  same. 

'  This  derivation  is  from  a  secondar>'  meaning;  the  primary  meaning  is  "  foreign 
youth."    See  above,  pp.  98,  99,  note  i. 

*  "  Bracor-hasJti." 

*  This  should  read  "  Kiaya  and  secretary." 
6  "  Brene." 

''  This  is  the  common  report  in  Western  writers  as  regards  the  Peiks.    See 
Menavino,  155;  Nicolay,  100. 


A  Chakirji-bashi,  chief  Vulturer,  and  a  Shahinji-bashi,  chief  Falconer. 
The  first  has  a  hundred  and  fifty  aspers,  and  the  other  has  eighty; 
with  Kiayas,  Heutenants/  and  others,  with  ten  to  twenty-five  aspers 
each  per  day.  Under  these  are  about  two  hundred  Zanijiler,^ 
only  a  hundred  of  whom  have  ten  aspers  a  day,  and  the  others 
have  feudal  income,  or  exemption  from  taxation.  And  they  take 
the  field  when  the  Signor  has  need. 

A  Jebeji-bashi,  chief  armorer.  He  has  sixty  aspers,  a  Kiaya  and 
a  secretary  with  twenty  aspers  each.  He  has  under  him  about  one 
thousand  five  hundred  jc^e/f 5,  with  seven  to  twelve  aspers.  These 
all  go  on  foot  when  the  Signor  takes  the  field. 

A  Topji-bashi,  chief  of  artillery.  He  has  seventy  aspers,  a  Kiaya 
[and]  secretary  with  twenty  aspers:  and  under  him  are  two  thou- 
sand Topjis  with  six  to  ten  aspers,  and  they  go  on  foot. 

An  Arabaji-bashi,  chief  wagoner.  He  has  forty  aspers,  a  Kiaya 
[and]  secretary  with  twenty  aspers:  and  under  him  three  thousand 
Arabajis  with  three  to  six  aspers  each. 

A  Mihter-bashi,  or  chief  of  trumpeters  and  drummers.  He  has  thirty 
[aspers]  per  day,  and  under  him  two  hundred  Mihters,  part  of  them 
on  foot  and  part  on  horseback  with  three  to  five  aspers  per  day. 

An  Emir-Alem  Agha,  who  carries  the  standard  of  the  Signor.  He  has 
two  hundred  aspers  a  day,  and  is  captain  of  all  the  musicians. 

An  Arpa-emini,  who  is  Provider  of  the  grain,  with  a  Lieutenant 
and  a  Chancellor.^  He  has  sLxty  aspers,  the  Lieutenant  thirty 
and  the  Chancellor  twenty:  this  Arpa-emini  has  under  him  twenty 
persons  who  receive  among  them  all  about  eight  hundred  aspers. 

A  Shehr-emini,*  or  Commissioner  of  public  works,  who  takes  care 
of  the  streets  of  Constantinople,  and  also  of  the  road  when  the 
Signor  goes  forth  to  war:  and  he  has  charge  also  of  public  buildings, 
fountains,  and  aqueducts.  He  has  fifty  aspers,  and  keeps  under  him 
four  hundred  men:  among  all  of  these  is  given  a  thcusand  aspers. 
He  has  also  a  Kiaya  and  secretary  with  about  thirty- eight  aspers 

1  Kiayas  and  secretaries. 

2  This  refers  to  those  whom  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  268,  calls  Zainogiler,  a  body  of 
lancers,  who  are  here  erroneously  classed  with  the  falconers.  Junis  Bey's  figures  are 
20,000  in  all,  1000  receiving  pay  in  money.     Are  they  the  Voinaks  (above,  p.  131)  ? 

*  Junis  Bey,  "  cursor, ^^  a  messenger  or  porter. 

*  Literally,  "  intendant  of  the  town." 
^  Junis  Bey  says  57. 


A  Berat-emini,  who  is  deputed  to  distribute  the  ordinances  of  the 
Signor  in  writing  and  who  receives  the  fees;  and  he  has  forty  aspers, 
with  two  secretaries,  and  two  superintendents  with  twenty  aspers 

A  Terjuman,^  or  interpreter  of  all  the  languages.  This  position  is 
highly  reputed  in  proportion  to  the  worth  and  intelligence  of  him 
who  holds  it.  He  has  five  hundred  ducats  of  fixed  income  each  year, 
and  has  also  a  like  sum  from  feudal  grant,  and  more  than  four 
times  as  much  of  extraordinary  income;  and  he  is  wont  to  be  highly 

Proceeding  now  further  as  I  have  begun,  I  shall  leave  it  for  another 
time  and  eye  to  reduce  this  Porte  to  better  order  and  put  every- 
thing in  its  proper  place.  I  find  that  to  all  the  above-mentioned 
things  should  be  added  a  Palace  of  the  ladies  of  the  Signor.2 
This  is  very  large,  with  a  circuit  of  about  a  mile  and  a  half;  and  it  is 
provided  with  different  chambers  and  other  rooms,  where  the  sons 
of  the  Signer  reside  separately  with  their  mothers,  and  with  a  great 
number  of  eunuchs  for  their  guard  and  service.  There  also  reside 
the  Sultanas,  that  is  the  mothers  and  the  wives  of  the  Signors;  and 
there  are  three  hundred  damsels,  placed  there  virgins,  and  given  to 
the  government  of  many  matrons.  To  all  of  these  damsels  the 
Signor  has  it  taught  to  embroider  different  designs,  to  each  he  gives 
pay  of  ten  to  twenty  aspers  per  day;  and  twice  every  year  at  the 
two  Bairams  he  has  them  clothed  in  stuffs  of  silk.  And  when  one 
of  these  pleases  him  he  does  what  he  wishes  with  her,  and  when  he 
has  Iain  with  her  he  gives  her  a  golden  bonnet  and  ten  thousand 
aspers,  and  has  her  placed  in  a  separate  apartment  from  the  others, 
increasing  her  ordinary  pay.'  In  the  aforesaid  Palace  there  is  an 
Agha  of  the  Eunuchs:  to  these  are  given  a  hundred  and  twenty 
aspers  for  all.  Three  Kapiiji-bashis,  and  with  them  a  hundred 
Kapujis  and  Janissaries  at  the  gate:  among  all  these  is  given  six 
hundred  aspers  a  day.  Ten  Sakkas,  who  carry  water,  forty  aspers 
in  all.  And  the  damsels  are  served  and  educated  up  to  the  age  of 
twenty-five  years.  The  teachers  are  the  matrons,  the  servants  are 
the  youngest  among  them ;  and  when  they  have  arrived  at  twenty- 

1  Usually  called  by  Western  writers  "  Dragoman." 

2  This  was  the  "  Old  Palace  "  of  Mohammed  the  Conqueror,  and  stood  where 
the  Seraskicrat,  or  War  Office  now  stands. 

»  Suleiman  is  said  to  have  been  faithful  to  Roxelana  after  he  had  made  her  his 
wife.    See  above,  p.  56. 


five  years,  if  it  does  not  please  the  Signer  to  keep  them  for  his  own 
use,  he  marries  them  to  Spahi-oghlans,  and  to  others  of  the  slaves  of 
the  Porte  according  to  the  degree  and  condition  of  both  parties; 
and  in  their  place  he  substitutes  others. 

There  is  also  a  palace  near  Pera  for  about  four  hundred  boys, 
who  have  pay  of  six  to  ten  aspers,  and  are  clothed  with  silk  twice 
a  year.  These  have  an  Agha  and  eunuchs,  as  have  those  in  the 
great  palace,  [and]  Kapujis,  Ajem-oghlans  and  a  hundred  teachers 
of  various  arts.  Among  all  these  is  distributed  eight  hundred 
aspers  a  day.  They  are  not  so  noble,  or  of  so  beautiful  appearance 
or  show  of  intelligence  as  are  those  who  reside  with  the  Signor; 
but  from  these  also  many  become  great,  and  some  of  them  are  taken 
into  the  great  palace.  And  similarly  in  Adrianople  there  is  a  palace 
of  three  hundred  boys  under  pay,  an  Agha,  eunuchs,  Kapujis, 
Janissaries,  and  teachers,  about  two  hundred  in  all,  who  have  all 
together  two  thousand  eight  hundred  aspers  a  day.  These  are  of 
third  grade,  but  they  are  carefully  taught  and  well  kept  Hke  all 
the  others,  and  from  them  according  to  the  spirit  and  worth  which 
they  show  promotions  are  made.  There  is  also  in  that  region 
another  palace,  recently  built,  with  a  large  and  beautiful  garden: 
this  is  located  on  the  river  Maritza,  and  in  it  reside  about  three 
hundred  Ajem-oghlans;  on  these  [palaces]  they  spend  every  year 
two  hundred  thousand  aspers  for  each,  and  they  have  an  Agha  with 
forty  aspers  and  a  lieutenant  and  secretaries  with  thirty  aspers  each 
per  day.  In  various  other  places  in  Adrianople  there  are  gardens: 
in  these  reside  continually  as  on  deposit  one  thousand  five  hundred 
Ajem-oghlans  with  Agha  and  secretaries,  and  on  these  they  spend 
six  thousand  aspers  a  year  i  or  a  little  more. 

There  is  also  an  Agha  of  the  Ajem-oghlans,  or  Janissary  recruits, 
who  resides  in  Constantinople;  he  has  sixty  aspers  per  day,  and 
under  him  are  about  five  thousand  Ajem-oghlans:  these  they  clothe 
twice  a  year,  and  on  their  teachers  and  chiefs  they  spend  ten  thou- 
sand aspers  ^  a  year.  They  put  them  on  ships  and  buildings  to  carry 
wood  and  perform  other  tasks.  They  become  cooks  or  servants 
of  the  Janissaries,  and  finally  they  become  Janissaries. 

And  every  four  years  the  Turkish  Signor  sends  into  Greece  and 
into  Anatolia  to  seize  boys,  sons  of  Christians,  ten  or  twelve  thou- 
sand each  time :  these  he  sends  into  Anatolia  in  the  region  of  Brusa 

^  This  should  read  "  per  day."    Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  269. 
^  This  should  read  100,000:  ibid. 


or  Caramania  to  dig  the  earth,  so  that  they  will  become  accustomed 
to  hard  labor,  and  so  that  there  they  may  learn  the  Turkish  lan- 
guage. These  boys  remain  in  such  a  place  and  occupation  three  or 
four  years:  then  they  are  ordered  to  be  gathered  again,  and  are 
given  to  the  government  and  discipline  of  the  Agha  of  the  Ajem- 
oghlans.  For  these  the  Signer  does  not  have  any  expenses  so  long 
as  they  reside  in  Anatolia,  because  they  are  clothed  and  have  their 
living  from  those  whom  they  serve  by  plowing  the  ground  and  doing 
other  work  for  them. 

It  seemed  best  to  me  to  make  mention  in  this  place  of  all  the 
palaces,  because  they  are  as  it  were  of  the  same  body  as  that  of  the 
Signor,  and  all  the  expenses  of  these  are  computed  in  the  book  of  the 
expense  of  the  great  palace,  or  that  of  the  Signor.  To  these  expenses 
are  added  those,  which  are  incurred  in  clothing  twice  each  year  the 
Pashas,  the  Kaziaskers,  the  Defterdars,  the  Beylerbeys,  and  the 
Nishanji,  and  the  expenses  which  are  incurred  for  the  extraordinary 
presents  of  the  Signor.  These  in  all  amount  to  and  go  beyond  a 
million  aspers  a  year. 

There  is  also  an  Arsenal  in  the  region  of  Pera,  small  and  of  short 
circuit:  this  has  on  the  sea-front  ninety-two  vaults,  and  so  little 
area  and  ground  within  that  not  merely  no  galleys  but  not  even 
materials  and  timbers  can  be  contained  there.  In  it  usually  work 
each  day  about  two  hundred  men;  although  there  are  under  pay 
two  hundred  patrons  with  two  thousand  aspers  per  day  for  all.* 
A  thousand  Azabs,  who  have  among  them  four  thousand  aspers. 
Foremen,  or  masters  fifty  in  number,  who  have  in  leisure,  that  is, 
when  not  working,  six  aspers,  and  when  working,  twelve  aspers 
each.  An  Intendant,  forty  aspers.  A  Secretary,  twenty-five 
aspers,  with  ten  clerks  under  him,  who  have  a  hundred  aspers.  All 
these  fulfil  their  duties  when  there  is  great  need;  but  they  under- 
stand ill  the  trade  and  art  of  building  galleys.  For  this  reason  they 
do  not  turn  out  good  and  ready  ones  like  ours;  and  what  few  there 
are  are  overseen  by  Christians,  who  are  well  paid. 

Over  this  Arsenal  and  all  these  persons,  there  is  one  who  is  called 
the  Beylerbey  of  the  sea;  that  is  to  say.  Lord  of  lords,  an  office 
created  at  the  time  when  I  was  in  Constantinople;  since  in  the  past 
he  who  was  Sanjak  of  Gallipoli  was  wont  to  be  called  Captain  of  the 
Sea.  And  Khaireddin  Bey  called  Barbarossa  was  the  first  who  had 
this  title;   he  was  then  made  fourth  Pasha.     To  him  is  given  the 

1  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  270,  says  200,000  per  year. 


government  of  all  the  fleets,  and  he  has  for  income  every  year  a 
feudal  grant  of  fourteen  thousand  ducats,  besides  that  from  Rhodes, 
Euboea,  and  Mytilene;  so  that  he  receives  twice  as  much  more. 

I  find  nothing  else  that  pertains  to  arrangements  for  the  rule  and 
watch  of  the  sea  which  are  worthy  of  note:  wherefore  I  will  now 
come  to  those  of  the  land;  these  are  in  truth  well  and  usefully 
There  is  first  one  called  the  Beylerbey  of  Greece:  in  this  are  in- 
cluded all  the  lands  which  the  Turkish  Signor  possesses  in  Europe: 
this  Beylerbey  is  greater  than  all  the  others.  He  has  from  feudal 
grant  sixteen  thousand  ducats  a  year,  and  gets  more  than  double 
this.  He  sits  at  the  Porte  after  the  Pashas, '  and  is  of  great  repute 
with  everybody.  He  has  under  him  besides  his  slaves,  who  number 
more  than  a  thousand,  a  Defter dar  with  feudal  income  of  three 
thousand  ducats  a  year;  a  hundred  clerks  who  keep  the  books  and 
accounts  of  the  feudal  grants  assigned  to  Subashis,  Kazis,  Spahis, 
and  others ;  among  all  of  whom  are  distributed  ten  thousand  ducats 
a  year. 
Thirty-six  Sanjaks:  these  are  in  obedience  to  him,  and  have  for 
feudal  income  from  five  to  twelve  thousand  ducats  a  year  each. 
They  are  distributed  through  the  provinces:  in  these  they  reside 
only  so  long  as  pleases  the  Signor:  he  changes  them,  as  seems  best 
to  him,  from  one  province  to  another.  Their  duty  is  to  rule  the 
Spahis,  and  to  have  them  trained  in  arms,  and  to  keep  them  in 

Four  hundred  Subashis,  who  have  among  them  all  from  feudal 
income  four  hundred  thousand  ducats,  and  have  about  five  hundred 
slaves  each.2 

Thirty  thousand  Spahis:  these  are  horse  soldiery  set  apart  some 
to  the  service  of  the  Beylerbey,  and  some  to  that  of  all  the  Sanjaks 
of  Greece.  They  have  from  feudal  grant  two  hundred  ducats  each, 
and  each  of  them,  for  every  hundred  ducats  of  feudal  income,  is 
obliged  to  maintain  an  armed  man,  with  horse  and  lance.  And 
then  they  have  besides  the  armed  man  two  or  four  or  five  servants 
and  horses.  These  Spahis  are  all  slaves  of  the  Signor,  and  sons  of 
slaves,  and  of  Spahis. 

Twenty  thousand  Timarjis  who  have  ten  to  forty  ducats  of 
feudal  income  each  year,  and  because  they  do  not  reach  a  hundred 

^  At  the  meetings  of  the  Divan. 

2  This  should  read  fifty  each:  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  271. 


ducats,  they  are  not  called  Spahis.  These  have  each  a  horse  and 
two  or  three  servants,  and  they  serve  distributed  through  all  the 
Sanjaks  of  Greece.  The  feudal  grants  are  by  assignment  of  land; 
the  income  of  this  assignment  they  get  partly  from  rent,  but  the 
greater  part  from  the  tithes  of  all  the  income,  which  Turks  as  well 
as  Christians  pay,  and  from  the  poll-tax,  which  is  twenty-five 
aspers  per  head  from  Christians  alone,  and  from  the  imposts  laid 
on  animals,  fruit-trees,  and  other  things.  These  imposts,  moreover, 
are  in  addition  to  those  which  they  pay  ordinarily  to  the  Signer. 

Sixty  thousand  Akinji,  or  mounted  adventurers,  inscribed  for 
the  lands  of  Greece  and  obliged  to  go  to  war  without  payment. 
But  they  are  exempt  from  any  burden,  and  cities  and  villages  are 
bound  to  give  them,  when  they  pass  through,  living  expenses 

There  are  in  all  Greece,  that  is,  in  all  the  countries  which  the 
Turkish  Signor  possesses  in  Europe,  sixty-eight  thousand  villages 
of  Turkish  and  Christian  people,  subject  to  public  burdens. ^ 

There  follow  next  six  Beylerbeys  of  Asia,  and  a  separate  one  of 
Egypt.  The  first  of  these  is  called  the  Beylerbey  of  Anatolia  which 
was  anciently  Asia  Minor:  he  has  from  feudal  income  fourteen 
thousand  ducats,  but  gets  a  great  deal  more.  This  man  has  under 
him  and  in  his  government  Pontus,  Bithynia,  Asia  proper,  Lydia, 
Caria,  and  Lycia:  these  provinces  under  a  single  name  are  called 
at  present  Anatolia.  This  man's  place  at  the  Porte  is  after  the 
Beylerbey  of  Greece.  And  he  has  under  him,  besides  his  own  slaves, 
who  are  more  than  a  thousand,  twelve  Sanjaks  with  feudal  income 
of  from  four  to  six  thousand  ducats  each.  Ten  thousand  Spahis, 
with  five  to  ten  aspers  a  day,  and  also  more  or  less  feudal  income 
according  to  their  degree.    Next  after  these  follows 

The  Beylerbey  of  Caramania,  which  was  anciently  Cilicia  and 
Pamphylia,  with  feudal  income  of  ten  thousand  ducats.  This  man 
has  under  him  seven  Sanjaks  with  four  to  six  thousand  ducats  of 
feudal  income  each,  and  five  thousand  Spahis,  with  five  to  ten  aspers 
a  day  each  and  feudal  income  besides. 

The  Beylerbey  of  Amasia  and  Tokat,  which  was  Cappadocia  and 
Galatia,  with  feudal  income  of  eight  thousand  ducats.  Four 
Sanjaks  with  four  to  six  thousand  ducats  of  feudal  income  each. 
Four  thousand  Spahis  with  five  to  ten  aspers  a  day  each  and  feudal 

1  "  Che  fanno  fattione." 


The  Beylerbey  of  Anadole,  which  is  a  region  between  Syria, 
Caramania,  and  Tokat,  which  was  anciently  Paphlagonia,  and  is 
the  half  of  Armenia  Minor.  He  has  ten  thousand  ducats  of  feudal 
income,  and  under  him  seven  Sanjaks  with  four  to  five  thousand 
ducats  of  feudal  income.  Seven  thousand  S  pah  is,  with  five  to  ten 
aspers  per  day  and  feudal  income.  In  this  province  of  Anadole, 
they  say  that  when  the  Signor  is  there,  besides  the  paid  troops  thirty 
thousand  persons  are  obliged  to  ride  without  any  pay,  but  only 
with  expenses  from  the  villages. 

The  Beylerbey  of  Mesopotamia,  under  whom  is  the  remainder  of 
Armenia  Minor  and  part  of  the  Major,  the  other  parts  belonging 
to  the  Persians  and  the  Kurds.  This  borders  with  Bagdad,  or 
Baldach,  which  was  anciently  Babylonia.  He  has  of  feudal  income 
thirty  thousand  ducats:  and  besides  his  own  slaves,  who  number 
two  thousand,  he  has  under  him  twelve  Sanjaks  with  feudal  income 
of  four  to  six  thousand  ducats  a  year,  and  ten  1  Spahis  with  ten  to 
fifteen  aspers  per  day  each,  and  with  large  feudal  income  because 
of  being  at  the  confines  of  the  Persians:  with  these  they  are  contin- 
ually in  conflict. 

A  Beylerbey  of  Damascus  and  Syria  and  Judea,  with  feudal  income 
of  twenty-four  thousand  ducats;  he  has  more  than  two  thousand 
slaves,  and  under  him  twelve  Sanjaks  with  feudal  income  of  five  to 
seven  thousand  ducats,  and  twenty  thousand  Spahis  with  ten  to 
fifteen  aspers  per  day  each  and  with  good  feudal  income. 

A  Beylerbey  of  Cairo:  he  holds  jurisdiction  as  far  as  Mecca,  or 
as  far  as  into  Arabia:  this  Arabia  is  possessed  by  the  Turkish 
Signor  in  the  way  in  which  he  possesses  Albania,  where  he  is  not 
yielded  such  obedience  as  he  is  accustomed  to  receive  from  all  his 
other  states  and  countries.  But  [Arabia]  Felix  stands  in  somewhat 
greater  obedience  than  the  rest.  He  has  for  feudal  income  thirty 
thousand  ducats,  with  numerous  slaves:  these  amount  to  more  than 
four  thousand;  sixteen  Sanjaks  with  feudal  income  of  six  to  eight 
thousand  ducats  each;  and  sixteen  thousand  Spahis  with  fifteen  to 
twenty  aspers  each  per  day. 

Near  Mecca,  and  the  countries  of  the  Persians,  are  some  Arabic 
lords  who  do  not  obey  any  one.  The  rest  ^  then  borders  the 
Persians  as  far  as  Mesopotamia,  in  which  is  Bagdad.^    Passing 

^  This  should  read  "  ten  thousand  "  :  Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  272. 

2  Of  the  Turkish  possessions  in  Asia. 

3  "  Maldac" 


Mesopotamia  it  borders  the  Persians  again  to  the  plain  of  Naximan, 
then  touches  Erzinjan  •  and  Erzerum,  which  are  the  chief  places 
of  Armenia  Major.  This  Armenia  borders  with  the  Iberians  and 
Georgians.  In  these  Armenias,  Major  and  Minor,  are  many- 
Kurds,  people  of  the  mountains  and  warlike,  those  of  [Armenia] 
Major  obedient  partly  to  the  Turkish  Signor,  and  partly  to  the 
Persian;  those  of  [Armenia]  Minor  to  no  one.  Next  Trebizond 
borders  with  the  Georgians  and  Mingrelians,  and  with  part  of 
the  Iberians,  which  people  were  anciently  called  Colchians.  And 
Ajemia,2  which  anciently  was  Assyria,  belongs  to  the  Persian:  he  is 
absolute  master  of  it. 

There  are  in  all  Anatolia,  or  in  all  the  countries  which  the  Turkish 
Signor  possesses  in  Asia,  villages  of  Turks  and  Christians  to  the 
number  of  more  than  seventy-two  thousand,  not  counting  those 
which  are  in  Egypt,  which  are  many. 

The  Sanjaks  truly  [set  forth]:  these  (as  I  said  above)  have  under 
government  the  provinces  entrusted  to  the  Beylerbeys;  they  are 
men  of  much  and  very  great  reputation  and  esteem,  especially  in 
the  affairs  of  war;  they  are  named  as  below  by  the  names  of  the 
places  which  are  given  to  their  government.  And  first  the  Beylerbey 
of  Greece  holds  as  his  sanjakate  the  places  about  Salonika.  Then 
follow  the  others  of  Kaffa,  Silistria,  Nicopolis,  Vidin,  Semendria, 
Servia  and  Belgrade,'  Zvornick,  Bosnia,  Hersek,  which  is  the  Ser\aa 
called  the  Duchy,'*  Scutari,  Avlona,  Yanina,  KarU  IH,  Lepanto, 
Morea,  Negropont,  Trikkala,  Gallipoli,  Kirk-Kilisse  or  Forty 
Churches,  Viza,  Chirmen,  Kostendil,  Vishidrina,  Prisrend,  Okhrida, 
Alaja  Hissar,  Elbassan,  Voinuch,  Chiuchene,  Zaiza.  These  are 
usually  counted  thirty-five,  but  five  are  regions  united  to  neighbor- 
ing places,  namely  PhilippopoHs,  Sofia,  Durazzo,  Albania,  and  Uskup. 

Anatolia,  or  Asia  Minor:  Pontus,  Bithynia,  Lydia,  Caria,  and 
Lycia.  The  sanjakate  of  the  Beylerbey  is  at  Kutaia.  And  the 
others  are  in  Hoja-ili,  Boli,  Kastamuni,  Angora,  Kanghri,^  Tekke- 
ili,  Menteshe-iH,  Aidin-ili,  Alayeh,*'  Bigha,  and  Manissa,^  which  is 
that  of  Sultan  Mustapha,  the  oldest  son  of  the  Signor.  This  place 
is  opposite  the  middle  of  Chios  near  the  sea. 

^  "  Esdum."    Junis  Bey,  below,  p.  272,  has  "  exdrun." 

^  More  correctly,  Irak  Ajam,  north-central  Persia. 

'  Junis  Bey,  273,  counts  these  as  two,  and  the  whole  number  as  thirty-six. 

*  Herzegovina.  «  "  Hallnyce  "  or  "  Allaye." 

^  "  Cangri."  ''  The  ancient  Magnesia. 


Amasia,  and  Tokat,  which  is  Paphlagonia,  Galatia,  and  Cappa- 
docia.  The  sanjakate  of  the  Beylerbey  is  in  Amasia,  of  the  others 
in  Chorum,  Janik,  Kara-hissar,  Samsun,  Trebizond. 

Caramania,  which  is  CiUcia  opposite  Cyprus  and  PamphyUa.  The 
sanjakate  of  the  Beylerbey  is  in  Konia.  The  others  have  theirs  in 
Naranda,  Hissar,  Eski-hissar,  Versag-iH,  Sivri-hissar. 

Anadole,  or  Armenia  Minor.  The  sanjakate  of  the  Beylerbey  is 
in  Marash.  Those  of  the  others  in  Sarmussacli,  Albistan-ovassi,^ 
Adana,  Tarsus. 

DiARBEKiR,  or  Mesopotamia,  and  part  of  Armenia  Major,  of  which 
the  remainder  belongs  to  the  Persians  and  the  Kurds.  The  san- 
jakate of  the  Beylerbey  is  in  Diarbekir,  And  the  others  have 
theirs  in  Kara  Amid,  Arghana,  Toljik,  Hassan-Kief,  Mardin, 
Kharput,  Mosul,  Erzerum,  Baiburt,  BitHs,  and  Naximan-ovassi. 

Syria,  and  Judea.  The  sanjakate  of  the  Beylerbey  is  in  Damas- 
cus. Of  the  others  in  Malatia,  Divirigi,  Aintab,  Antioch,  Aleppo, 
Tripoli,  Hama,  Homs,  Safita,  Jerusalem,  Gaza. 

Egypt,  with  part  of  Arabia  Deserta  as  far  as  Jeddah;  2  Mecca, 
with  all  of  Arabia  Felix,  where  are  many  Arab  lordlings,  who  are 
partly  in  devotion  to  the  Turkish  Signor,  partly  to  no  one.  The 
sanjakate  of  the  Beylerbey  is  in  Cairo,  and  of  the  others.  .  .  .^ 

All  the  aforesaid  Sanjaks,  Beylerbeys,  Pashas,  and  other  officials  have 
salary  or  feudal  income,  as  I  have  said  above,  by  fixed  arrangement, 
that  is,  regularly:  but  they  obtain  from  extraordinary  sources 
about  as  much  more.  And  they  Hve  with  very  great  expenses  for 
slaves :  these  they  are  accustomed  to  clothe  and  they  give  them  also 
wages  besides,  so  that  they  will  not  steal. 

How  great  the  revenues  of  this  Signor  are,  may  be  estimated 
from  the  expenses.  These  revenues  are  obtained  from  the  Kharaj, 
which  is  paid  by  the  non-Turkish  subjects;  this  gives  a  million  and 
a  half  ducats:  from  the  tax  on  animals,  which  gives  eight  hundred 
thousand  ducats:  from  mines,  which  give  six  hundred  thousand 
ducats:  from  countless  other  duties,  salt-taxes,  commendations, 
inheritances,  gifts,  the  revenues  of  Egypt  over  and  above  the 
expenses,  rents,  and  tributes.  And  they  are  so  great  that  they  not 
only  meet  the  expenses,  which  amount  besides  the  feudal  income  in 
ready  money  drawn  from  the  Treasury  to  more  than  twelve  thou- 

^  The  plain  of  Albistan. 

2  "  Alziden." 

^  Evidently  the  writer  intended  to  fill  these  in,  but  failed  to  secure  the  names. 


sand  ducats  a  day;  >  but  there  remains  over  a  great  sum  of  money 
from  the  surplus  of  each  year.  And  it  is  beheved  that  all  the  reve- 
nues amount  to  fifteen  millions  in  gold;  five  of  which  enter  the 
Treasury,  and  the  other  ten  remain  for  the  servants  of  war.^ 

^  This  amounts  to  about  four  million  ducats  a  year. 

'^  The  reference  is,  of  course,  to  the  feudal  Spuliis  and  their  officers,  who  then 
received  according  to  this  estimate  two-thirds  of  the  revenues  of  the  empire. 


Printed  in  1537.     Presented  in  the  original  Italian. 


tutto  il  gouerno  del  gran  Turcho  &  tut- 
ta  la  Spesa  che  il  gran  Turcho  ha  sot- 
to  di  lui  cosi  in  pace  como  in  guerra 
&  il  numero  de  le  Persone  &  no- 
me  &  gouerno  de  le  sue  Don 
ne  &  Garzoni  che  lui  tene 
nel  Serraglio  serrati  & 
de  tutta  la  Entrata  che 
lui  ha  a  lanno  &  no 
mina  tutti  li  Si- 
gnori  de  le  sue 
E  il  nome  de  tutte  le  sue  terre  chelha 
sotto  se  :  &  la  ordinaza  del  suo  Cam 
po  quado  ua  ala  guerra  como 
ua  in  ordinanza  tutte  le 
persone  a  sorte  per 
sorte  &  come 
uanno  e 
che  arme  portano.     Nouamente  stam- 
pata  nel  M  D  X  X  X  V  I  I. 

Il  Signor  grade  cioe  il  gra  Turcho  ha  uno  serraglio  principale  doue 
tene  la  sua  sedia,  &  ha  una  camera  deputada  per  lui  doue  dorme, 
&  al  gouerno  dessa  ha  8.  gioueni  ch'  lo  uestano  e  sue  stano  doi  al 
giomo  deputati  ala  guardia,  &  seruitii  suoi,  &  la  notte  li  fanno  la 
guardia  uno  da  capo,  laltro  da  piede  con  due  torce  accese:  &  ql 
li  doi  che  li  hano  fatto  la  guardia  la  notte  lo  uestano  la  mattina,  & 
li  mettano  ne  la  Scarsella  del  dulimano  cioe  de  la  casacha  sua  aspri 
Mille  uno  aspro  ual  soldi  do  di  Milano,  &  in  laltra  duchati  20  doro: 
questi  dinari  sel  Signor  no  li  dona  uia  quel  giomo  restano  a  colori 



chio  spogliano  la  sera,  &  qsti  giouani  hano  uno  capo  ch'si  domada 
Oddabassi  cioe  capo  de  li  camarieri  uno  Papugi  che  li  porta  le 
scarpe,  laltro  Selictare  che  porta  larco  &  frezze,  laltro  Ciochadar 
ch'li  porta  le  ueste,  laltro  Seracter  che  li  porta  il  mastrapa  zoe  il 
rami  dalacq,  laltro  scheni  ch'  porta  la  sedia  questi  sono  li  nomi  che 
hanno  li  otto  gioueni,  &  il  capo  de  questi  cioe  Oddabassi  ha  aspri  30. 
al  di  di  soldo,  &  li  altri  8.  gioueni  hano  chi  15.  chi  20.  aspri  per  uno 
secondo  il  loro  grado. 

El  Capagasi  e  monuco  cioe  castrato  &  e  portinaro  de  la  porta  del  gran 
Turco  ha  aspri  60.  di  soldo. 

El  Capiagabasi  cioe  il  capo  del  Serraglio  doue  sta  il  Turcho  quado 
il  Signor  e  fora  de  Costantinopoli  ha  aspri  50.  &  ha  sotto  lui  12 
mouchi  cioe  castrati  che  hano  aspri  16.  al  di  per  uno  di  soldo  & 

El  Casnadarbasi  e  monucho,  cioe  Tesorero  de  la  Saluaroba  del  Signor 
ha  aspri  60,  al  di  di  soldo. 

Ha  in  el  serraglio  il  Sgnor  gioueni  de  anni  8.  fino  in  20.  numero  700. 
che  hano  di  soldo  al  giorno  chi  10.  chi  14.  secondo  il  suo  grado  & 
sono  uestiti  dal  Signor  qsti  hano  maestri  che  li  insegnano  a  legere  e 
scriuere  &  la  lege  loro,  &  como  escano  del  serraglio  hanno  nella 
porta  cioe  ne  la  sua  corte  officii  chi  Spacoglai  chi  Selictari  chi  Sola- 
chi  &  altri  stipedii  secondo  gratia  e  ualore  loro. 

Spacoglani  sono  getilhomini  che  cortigiano  il  Signor  quado  caualca: 
&  li  Sehctari  sono  qlli  che  uano  alia  ma  sinistra  del  Signor  qndo  ua  in 
campo:  &  li  Solachi  sono  stafTeri  del  Signor,  &  li  suoi  maestri  sono 
Talasimai  uecchi  detti  Cogia  dotti  nella  lege  loro,  cioe  sacerdoti  & 
questi  putti  sono  ogni  10.  in  gouemo  d'uno  monucho  detto  Ca- 
pogliano,  ognuno  ha  imo  schiauinotto  nel  qual  dormino  detro  la 
notte  de  sorte  che  non  si  toccano  insiemo  &  stanno  in  uno  salotto  & 
li  Monuchi  dormeno  in  mezo  desso  salotto  &  stanno  le  lume  accese 
tutta  la  notte. 

Ha  uno  giardino  nel  serraglio  che  uolge  circa  doi  miglia  doue  stanno 
circa  400,  putti  giardineri  detti  Bustagi  sono  lanicerotti,  &  hanno 
uno  capo  che  si  domanda  Bustagibassi  che  e  sopra  tutti  li  giardini 
del  Signor  ch'  sono  moltie  lui  ha  aspri  40.  il  di  di  soldo  &  altre  molte 
regalie  &  a  li  giardineri  chi  3.  chi  5.  aspri  al  di  &  sono  ognuno  ue- 
stiti del  Signor  di  pano  azuro  turchesco  &  una  gamisa  e  uno  paro 
di  braghe  do  uolte  a  lanno  &  quado  escano  del  serraglio  che  sono 
gradi  diucntano  lanizari  cioe  guardiani  del  Signor.  Solachi 
cioe  staffieri  &  Capigi  cioe  Portinari:   &  il  ditto  Bonstagibassi  e 


qllo  ch'e  timonero  quado  al  Signer  ua  in  Fusta  hano  uno  ptoiro 
cioe  loco  tenente  che  ha  aspri  20.  al  di  &  ogni  10  de  detti  hano  uno 
capo  ditto  Balucasi  che  ha  aspri  20.  il  di  &  questi  putti  uano 
per  tutto  dentro  del  SerragKo  &  mai  escano  fino  che  non  sono 

El  Signor  ha  due  Fuste  che  li  nauegano  li  sopraditti  giardineri,  &  lo 
capo  loro  sta  al  timone  con  le  quale  il  Signor  ua  a  spasso  assai  per 
canale  &  a  li  giardini  lor. 

El  calualgibasi  capo  de  le  cofettioni  ha  aspri  40.  il  di  con  30.  homini 
sotto  di  lui  &  hanno  chi  5  chi  6,  aspri  al  di. 

El  Vechilargibasi  capo  deli  despesieri  ha  aspri  40.  il  di  c6  uno  scriuano 
CO  aspri  20  il  di  di  soldo. 

El  Cessignirbassi  capo  de  li  cardeceri  ha  aspri  80.  il  di  &  questo  porta 
la  sera  &  mattina  il  piato  al  Signore  &  ha  sotto  di  lui  homini  100. 
che  hanno  chi  5  chi  6.  aspri  al  di  di  soldo. 

Vno  Asgibassi  capo  de  li  coghi  ha  aspri  40.  al  di  &  ha  da  circa  80. 
coghi  sotto  di  lui  che  hano  chi  5.  chi  6.  chi  8.  aspri  il  di,  &  ha  da 
80.  lanicerotti  da  10.  in  20.  anni  ditti  baltagi  cioe  taglia  legne 
che  tagliano  le  legne  per  la  cucina  del  signore  &  per  tutto  il  serraglio 
che  hanno  da  3.  in  5.  aspri  il  di  per  uno  &  sono  uestiti  dal  Signore. 

Ha  circa  20.  garzoni  lanicerotti  carretteri  che  portano  con  li  carri  le 
legne  nel  serragUo  &  hanno  aspri  3.  in  5.  al  di  &  sono  uestiti  dal 

Sacha  10.  cioe  acquaroli  che  portano  lacqua  con  li  caualli  nel  serraglio 
hanno  3.  in  5.  aspri  il  di  &  uestiti  dal  Signore. 

Vna  stalla  con  200.  caualli  per  la  psona  del  Signore  con  100.  homini  al 
gouemo  suo  che  hanno  aspri  5.  in  8.  al  di  soldo  per  uno.  Vnaltra 
stalla  con  4000.  caualli  per  li  scliiaui  soi  con  2000.  homini  al  suo 
gouemo  che  hano  da  3  in  5  aspri  di  di  soldo  &  spesa. 

II  gran  Turcho  ha  molti  giardini  &  si  uendano  11  frutti  &  del  tratto  di 
essi  si  fa  le  spese  a  lui  per  essere  entrate  licite,  &  il  suo  serraglio 
paga  di  liuello  aspri  1000.  al  giomo  a  la  moschea  cioe  a  la  gesia  del 
padre  de  suo  padre  Soltan  memet. 

Spesa  nel  piato  del  Signor  aspri  5000.  &  per  li  garzoni  soi  aspri  2500. 
ogni  giomo. 

Vno  Capigilarchi  caiasi  idest  gouemator  &  capo  de  tutti  li  capigi  cioe 
di  portineri  de  la  porte  ha  aspri  500.  il  di:  &  3  capigibassi  de  la 
porta  del  signore  hanno  aspri  100.  il  di  &  uestiti,  sotto  qste  sono 
Capigi  cioe  Portinari  numero  250.  chi  hanno  aspri  57.  il  di  per  uno, 
&  questi  fanno  la  guardia  a  la  porta  del  Signor  di  24.  in  24.  hore,  & 


quando  qualche  Ambasciator  ua  a  basciare  la  mano  al  Signor 
bisogna  chel  presenta  tutti  costori.  Vno  Capigi  la  che  chi  si 
Protoiro  idest  locotenente  di  Capigi  ha  aspri  40.  il  giomo, 

El  Ciausbasi  capo  de  li  ciausi  c6  100.  ciausi  sotto  lui  qsti  sono  homini 
gradi  &  quado  uano  pfare  morire  alcuno  sia  dassai  quato  si  uoglia 
sono  obediti  senza  altra  comissione  in  scritto,  &  qndo  il  Signor 
caualca  uano  semp'  inaci  a  ui  faciado  fare  largo,  hano  di  soldi  da 
aspri  25.  sino  in  40.  al  di  secudo  lor  grado  &  il  ciaubasi  ha  aspri  200. 

El  Mecterbasi  capo  de  quelli  che  destendano  li  padiglioni  &  tapedi  & 
spazzar  la  porta  &  altre  simile  cose  ha  aspri  40.  il  di  con  il  sue 
Protoiro  che  ha  aspri  20.  il  di  con  60.  homini  sotto  di  lui  che  si 
domandano  Mecteri  che  hanno  aspri  5.  in  6.  il  di  per  uno  &  sono 

Sono  ordinatamete  4.  Bascia  soi  cazelleri  e  coseieriel  primo  ha  duchati 
24000  di  entrata  a  lanno:  li  altri  tre  hano  chi  16000.  chi  18000. 
duchati  a  lanno  &  li  sono  date  entrate  doue  cauano  il  tutto,  &  hano 
molte  altre  regalie  &  psenti. 

Abrain  eora  de  la  pargha  albaneso  e  morto,  hora  li  e  Aiisbassa  de  la 
sinita  ch'  e  il  pricipale  Albaeso  uno  altro  mostafa  bas  cia  che 
mamalucho  di  Alchayro  &  uno  Casin  bascia  ch'e  Crouato  & 
Cayradibeii  cioe  Barbarossa  ch'era  greco  di  meteli  Isola  &  niuno 
puo  essere  bascia  se  non  Christiani  renegati.  Ayas  ha  numero 
600.  schiaui.  Mostafa  ne  ha  numero  200:  Casin  crouato  ne  ha 
numero  150.  Barbarossa  ne  ha  da  numero  100.  A  liquali  danno 
soldo  caualli  scutie  doro  &  spade  fornire  dargento  &  di  questi  essi 
Bascia  fanno  la  corte  loro  &  sono  uestiti  da  essi  Bascia. 

Doi  Cadilescher  talasimani  uno  de  la  Grecia  laltro  de  la  natolia  cioe 
Asia,  &  ha  di  entrata  ducati  6  in  7  milia  a  lanno  per  uno  :  qsti  sono 
executori  de  la  lege  loro  &  hano  10.  homini  executori  per  uno  dati 
dal  Signor  sono  qlli  che  metteno  li  Cadi  cioe  podesta  per  tutto  il 
paese  del  Signor  &  quado  uanno  dal  Signor  entrano  auanti  deli 
Bascia  hanno  per  uno  mocturbasi  cioe  cursor,  &  como  cauallieri 
de  li  executori  &  questi  tutti  uiuano  di  regahe,  hano  lo  Cadile- 
scheri  200.  in  300.  schiaui  per  uno  che  se  ne  fanno  la  lor  corte. 

Doi  Defterderi  cioe  thesoreri  uno  di  Asia  laltro  di  Europa  che  scodano 
tutte  le  entrade  del  Signor  &  gouemano  quasi  il  tutto  hanno  di 
entrada  ducati  sie  in  sette  milia  a  lanno  per  uno,  &  hanno  200. 
schiaui  per  uno  &  ne  fanno  la  lor  corte. 

Hanno  qsti  Defterderi  50.  scriuani  per  uno  con  li  cogitori  quali  tengano 
conto  del  thesoro  del  Signor,  questi  scriuani  sono  posti  dal  Signor 


con  soldo  di  15.  in  50.  aspri  al  di  per  imo  secondo  il  grado  loro  & 

hano  15.  in  20.  schiaui  per  uno. 
Secretarii  25.  posti  dal  Signer  che  hanno  25.  in  30.  aspri  il  di  &  suoi 

schiaui  sono  doi  Rosanamagi  idest  capi  de  li  scriuani  che  reuedano 

li  coti  &  ch'  receuano  dano  fora  con  20.  copagni  sotto  loro  doi, 

hanno  aspri  40.  il  di  &  li  25.  compagni  hano  aspri  8.  in  10.  al  di  per 

imo  di  soldo. 
Cinque  Seraferi  idest  Bancheri  che  uedano  tutto  li  danari  che  si 

scodano  hanno  aspri  10,  in  15.  al  di  di  soldo. 
Vno  Tescheregibassi  che  segna  tutti  li  commandamenti  del  Signor  ha 

di  entrata  ducati  7000.  &  300.  in  400.  schiaui. 
Vno  Casmandarbassi  di  fora  con  10.  Casandari  il  capo  ha  aspri  50. 

il  di  &  ha  aspri  10.  in  15.  al  di  di  soldo  sintede  sopra  la  saluaroba 

del  Signore  di  fuora  del  serraglio. 
Vno  Defterdaro  emino  cioe  douanero  sopra  le  intrade  &  tene  il  libro 

de  li  timarati  ha  aspri  40.  il  di  con  lo  scriuano  che  ha  aspri  10.  in  15. 

al  di. 
Vno  Agha  de  laniceri  cioe  Capitano  de  tutti  li  laniceri  che  ha  intrata 

duch.  7000.  lano,  &  ha  aspri  loooo.  per  far  pasto  a  li  lanizari 

quado  el  da  audietia  in  casa  sua  che  2.03.  uolte  la  settima  na  le  da 

&  ha  400.  schiaui  sotto  se  questi  lanizari  sono  la  guardia  del  Signor 

tutti  schiopetteri  &  uanno  a  piede. 
Vno  Gachaia  de  lanizari  cioe  locotenete  ha  200  aspri  di  &  ducati  300. 

di  timaro  cioe  entrata  a  lanno  con  25.  schiaui  suoi. 
Vno  Scriuan  di  lanizari  che  tien  contro  de  loro  lanizari  ha  aspri  100. 

al  di  &  circa  a  200  schiaui. 
Secmebassi  capo  di  brachi  da  caza  ha  aspri  100.  il  di  &  ha  del  numero 

di  laizari  200  sotto  di  lui. 
D  Zarcagibassi  capo  de  li  liureri  da  cazza  ha  aspri  50  il  di  &  ha  del 

numero  di  lanizari  700.  sotto  di  se  che  menano  li  cani  a  spasso 

quado  bisogna. 
Sono  li  lanizari  numero  12000.  li  quah  hanno  da  3.  sino  in  8.  aspri  il  di 

di  soldo  &  ogni  10.  hanno  il  suo  Odabassi  cioe  capo  de  numero  dece 

&  ogni  cento  hanno  il  suo  capo  che  si  domanda  Bolucbassi,  &  li 

capi  loro  quando  uanno  in  capo  uano  a  cauallo  &  hano  aspri  40. 

in  60.  al*  di  per  vno  secondo  il  grado  loro. 
De  li  lanizari  si  caua  da  150  solachi  che  sono  staferi  dil  Signor  &  2 

solachibassi  capi  de  qlli  &  tutti  sono  sotto  lagha  de  lanizeri,  & 

sono  vestiti  vna  volta  alanno  dil  Signor  di  pano  azuro,  &  hano  le 

*  At  this  point  the  smaller  type  begins.     See  below,  p.  315. 


stantie  loro  in  2  lochi  in  Constantinopoli  fatto  fabricare  dil  Signer 
&  li  stano  qlli  che  non  hano  moglie  li  maritati  stano  sora  c6  le 
done  loro,  &  nel  vitto  ogniuno  mette  tato  al  di  &  hano  dispesieri 
choghi  &  qlli  che  hano  pocho  salario  seruan  al  altri,  &  ogni  100  di 
loro  quado  vano  in  capo  portano  vno  padiglione,  &  sono  soldati 
apedi  schpeteri  &  alabarderi  e  simitarre.  Quado  li  ditti  venghano 
in  desgratia  dil  Signoro  in  veghieza  si  madan  a  sario  zoe  castelli  che 
sono  guardiani  &  si  cassano  del  libro  de  lanizari  &  hano  entrate 
equalmente  al  suo  primo  soldo  &  li  capi  loro  similmente  vano 
castellani  con  timaro  vtsupra. 

Vno  agha  di  Spachoglani  capo  cioe  di  destri  giouene  gentilhomo  che 
a  tra  timaro  e  soldo  ducat  10  il  di  con  reghalie  &  400  schiaui. 

Vno  laxagi  scriuano  de  questi  spacoglani  ha  aspri  30  il  di  con  reghalie 
&  30  schiaui. 

Vno  Cacaia  de  ditti  zoe  protoiro  a  tra  timaro  soldo  aspri  100  al  di. 

Sono  li  Spachoglani  3000  che  hano  aspri  20  in  40  il  di  secondo  il  grade 
loro  &  ogni  20  hano  vno  capo  domandato  Bolucbassi  &  questi 
seruano  a  caualo  con  506  schiaui  &  altri  tanti  caualli  per  vno 
questi  vano  sempre  ala  man  destra  dil  Signor,  &  alogiano  appresso 
a  lui  in  campo. 

Vno  Agha  deto  Selicterbassi  capo  de  li  sinistri  che  sono  ala  ma  sinistra 
dil  Signor  ha  aspri  250  il  di  &  vno  Protoiro  cioe  loco  tenete  &  vno 
scriuano  co  aspri  30  il  di  per  vno  questo  Aga  e  capo  di  3000  Selictari 
a  cauallo  che  stano  a  la  man  sinistra  dil  Signore  &  hano  aspri  20 
in  25  al  di  p  vno  &  hano  4.  o.  5.  schiaui  &  altri  tanti  caualli  &  lui 
capo  a  200  schiaui  soi. 

Doi  Holofagibassi  da  la  man  destra  &  sinistra  uno  per  banda  capi  de  li 
soldatia  aspri  120  al  di  &  hano  200  Holofagi  sotto  se  c6  aspri  16 
il  di  pervno  il  suo  logo  tenente  co  aspri  20  e  vno  scriuano  co  aspri 
20  &  vano  a  cauallo  con  2.03.  caualli  &  tanti  schiaui. 

Doi  Aga  capo  de  li  carippoglani  zoe  poueri  gioueni  che  hano  aspri  30 
il  di  per  vno  co  il  suo  protoiro  &  scriuano  con  aspri  1 5  in  30  al  di  & 
sono  li  Carippoglani  numero  2000  che  hano  da  7  sino  in  14  aspri  al 
di  per  vno  li  capi  hano  25  schiaui  per  vno. 

Doi  Bracorbassi  zoe  maestri  di  stalla  vno  grande  vno  picolo  il  grade 
a  aspri  500  il  di,  &  il  picolo  ne  a  200  al  di  di  soldo  con  protoiro  & 
scriuano  con  30  sino  in  40  aspri  il  di  per  vno. 

Sedici  milia  Sarachi  zoe  famigli  che  cozano  brene  &  selle  Caysli  zoe 
fanti  di  stalla  Carmadari  zoe  mulateri  deuegi  zoe  gabeleri  che  vano 
dreto  a  gambeli  circirgli  zoe  mandreri  che  pascolano  le  madre  de  li 


caualli  in  varii  lochi  hano  di  soldo  da  2  sine  i  20  aspri  il  di  pervno 
secodo  il  grado  lore  chi  pui  che  meno. 

Caualli  da  caualcare  per  il  Signor  &  soi  puti  &  monuchi  zoe  castrati 
numero  4000. 

Vno  Zarchigibassi  capo  de  li  astori  che  al  di  soldo  apri  150  il  di  & 
schiaui  &  vno  Zarchigibassi  capo  di  falconeri  che  a  aspri  80  il  di  & 
schiaui  con  il  sou  protoiro  &  scriuano  con  aspri  25  per  vno  al  di. 

Vintimilia  zainogiler  homini  a  cauallo  di  laza  &  mill  soli  de  questi 
hano  soldo  aspri  10  il  di  &  resto  hano  timari  o  vero  exemption  di 
angarie  per  essere  homeni  dil  Signor  &  vano  in  campo. 

Vno  hebegibassi  capu  de  le  armature  a  aspri  60  il  di  con  il  suu  protoiro 
&  scriuan  con  aspri  20  per  vno  di  soldo  &  a  da  160  Ebegi  zoe  famigli 
sotto  se  con  7  fino  in  10  aspri  il  di  per  vno,  &  vano  a  pede. 

Vno  Topgibassi  capo  de  li  bombarderi  che  ha  aspri  60  il  di  con  protoiro 
&  scriuan  con  aspri  20  pervno  &  a  2000  Topgi  sotto  se  zoe  bom- 
barderi CO  6  sino  in  10  aspri  il  di  soldo  per  vno  o  vano  a  pede, 

Vno  Arabagibassi  capo  de  li  careteri  a  aspri  40  il  di  con  protoiro  & 
scriuano  con  aspri  20  per  vno  &  a  1000  Arabagi  zoe  careteri  sotto 
se  con  3  sino  in  6  aspri  il  di  per  vno. 

Vno  Mecterbassi  capo  de  li  trombeteri  &  tamburini  a  aspri  30  il  di 
con  protoiro  &  scriuan  con  aspri  12  p  vno  di  soldo  al  di  &  a  12 
millia  compagni  sotto  se  che  hano  di  soldo  3  sino  in  5  aspri  il  diper 
vno  parti  vano  a  piedi  &  parti  a  cauallo  &  altre  regalie. 

Imralem  aga  Capitanio  che  porta  il  stendardo  dil  Signor  a  di  soldo 
aspri  200  al  di  &  e  sopra  tutti  li  mecteri  zoe  trombetti  &  tamburini 
&  banderali. 

Vno  Arpaemin  prouiditore  de  le  biaue  per  il  campo  con  vno  protoiro 
&  vno  cursor  le  emin  a  aspri  60  il  di  protoiro  a  aspri  30  il  cursor 
aspri  20  al  di  di  soldo  &  a  20  persone  sotto  di  lui  con  aspri  800  al  di 
fra  tutti  quelli  20  persone. 

Vno  Saremin  prouiditore  de  comun  a  cozare  le  strade  &  fabricare  in 
Constantinopli  a  aspri  50  il  di,  &  a  sotto  di  lui  400  homeni  co  aspri 
1000  al  di  fra  tutti  co  protoiro  &  scriuano  co  aspri  57  il  di  per  vno. 

Vno  Baratemin  che  dispensa  tutti  li  comandameti  &  che  scode  li 
denati  de  li  ditti  a  aspri  40  il  di  &  a  2  scriuani  &  doi  soprastanti  con 
aspri  60  il  di  per  vno  di  soldo. 

Vno  Seraglio  di  donne  in  Constantinopli  che  circoda  vno  migUo  e 
mezo  CO  stantie  &  camere  done  stano  li  figlioli  separati  luno  da 
laltro  CO  loro  madre  &  monuchi,  &  soltane  zoe  molier  dil  Signor  & 
li  sono  da  200  in  300  dozelle  sotto  la  custodia  di  molte  matrone 


veghi  alequa  il  Signer  fa  inscgnare  a  arica  mar  diuersi  lauori  &  a 
cadauna  li  da  di  soldo  asp  10  fino  in  20  per  vna  secondo  il  grado 
loro  &  ogni  anno  doi  volte  a  li  bairami  zoe  a  le  sue  pasque  li  veste 
tutte  di  setta,  &  lequal  donzelle  quado  place  alcuna  desse  al  Signore 
lui  sta  con  lei  &  fa  il  fatto  suo,  &  como  la  hauta  li  dona  vna  schufia 
doro  che  val  due.  200  &  aspri  10  millia  di  cotadi  &  la  fa  stare  in  vna 
camera  separata  da  le  altre  &  li  cresse  i  soldo  suo  &  qlla  che  fa 
prima  fioli  quella  e  la  sua  moglie  prima. 

In  ditto  seraglio  &  de  tutti  li  altri  monuchi  zoe  castrati  che  sono  in 
detto  seraglio  a  aspri  60  il  di  di  soldo  &  stano  in  questo  seraglio  20 
monuchi  &  hano  aspri  120  il  di  tra  capigibassi  zoe  portinari  & 
lanizari  nu.  100  a  le  porte  p  guardia  hano  aspri  500  al  di  fra  tut- 
ti &  numero  10  Sacha  che  portano  laqua  detro  zoe  aquaroli  & 
hano  aspri  40  al  di  fra  tutti  di  soldo. 

Quando  le  donzelle  sono  in  eta  de  anni  25  il  Signor  le  maritta  a  li 
schiaui  di  la  porta  zoe  di  la  sua  corte  &  in  loco  loro  ne  mete  de  le 
altre  &  le  piu  giouan  e  seruano  a  le  altre. 

A  vno  seraglio  appresso  a  perea  de  garzoni  nu,  400.  in  circa  che  hano 
di  soldo  da  6  fin  in  10  aspri  il  di  p  vno  &  li  veste  doi  volte  alanno 
di  panno  di  seda  si  como  fa  a  le  done  &  vno  Agha  zoe  capo  del 
seraglio  &  20  monuchi  como  nel  altro  seraglio  &  capigi  &  lanizeri 
&  maestri  che  imparano  voltegiare  a  cauallo  &  Iparano  a  sonare  in 
tutto  numero  100  homeni  che  hano  aspri  600  al  di  di  soldo  tra  tutti 
&  laga  a  aspri  60  il  di  di  soldo  &  10  sacha  con  aspri  40  il  di  di  soldo 
fra  tutti  li  aquaroli. 

Vno  Seraglio  in  Andranopoli  nouo  con  vno  bel  giardino  appresso  a 
la  mariza  fiumera  nel  qual  stano  lanizerotti  numero  300  &  hano 
aspri  1 2  al  di  per  vno  Andranopoli  e  5  zornate  lotan  da  Constanti- 

Vno  capo  de  detti  zardineri  a  aspri  40  il  di  con  vno  protoiro  &  vno 
scriuano  che  tengono  coto  de  ditto  zardino  con  aspri  30  per  vno  al 

In  diuersi  lochi  il  Signor  ha  piu  giardini  in  liquali  son  asai  lanizerotti 
garzoni  &  soi  capi  hano  di  soldo  aspri  6000  al  di  fra  tutti  questi 

Vno  aga  de  agiamoglani  Capitanio  zoe  gioueni  greci  in  Costatinopoli 
a  aspri  60  il  di  &  a  4  in  5000  lantizerotto  sotto  lui  &  li  da  di  soldo 
tra  tutti  alano  ne  a  di  spcsa  aspri  100  millia  &  liveste  due  hate 
alanno  &  hano  li  loro  capi  como  li  altri  &  questi  se  metano  sopra 
fabriche  &  condutte  legne  co  nauigli  in  ConstantinopoU  per  il 


Signor  &  altre  stente  poi  si  fano  coghi  &  famegli  di  lanizeri  &  in 
fino  si  fano  lanizeri. 

Ogni  4  anni  il  Signor  manda  a  tore  di  gretia  &  di  Natolia  piu  figlioli 
de  christiani  per  il  paxe  zoe  p  leville  &  doue  vno  padre  ha  2  fioli 
li  piglian  vno  fiol  p  forza  &  lo  fano  turco  &  cosi  a  ognuno  christiani 
p  il  suo  paese  fano  zoe  soi  subditi  &  ne  piglia  10  i  12000  a  la  volta 
hquali  puti  li  sano  stare  in  la  Natolia  zoe  in  asia  a  zapare  la  terra 
acio  imparano  la  lingua  turcha  &  cosi  stentano  3.  o  vero  4.  anni  & 
poi  li  manda  a  scriuere  sotto  laga  di  agiamoglani  ditto  vtsupra 
&  di  questi  il  Signor  non  ne  a  spesa  alcuna  per  che  sono  vestiti  & 
fatto  le  spese  da  quelli  a  che  seruano  per  che  li  mete  a  stare  co 
altri  sino  chano  imparato  la  lingua  &  poi  quando  sono  scritti  li  da 
soldo  per  la  prima  2.  in  3  aspri  per  vno  &  secodo  li  mete  in  altri 
ofl&cii  li  cresce  il  salario. 

Ha  di  spesa  in  li  altri  seragli  di  viuere  aspri  5000  il  di  ditto  di  sopra. 

Veste  due  fiate  alanno  li  Bassa  zoe  confieri  defterderi  zoe  texoreri 
beglerbeii  zoe  Signor  de  Soignori  nesangibei  zoe  quello  che  sopra 
di  frutti  dil  Signor  &  presenti  di  spexa  aspri  5000  per  volte. 

Vna  Arsenale  doue  ten  le  sue  galere  che  a  voiti  100  zoe  30  di  galere 
grosse  che  si  domandano  maone  p  portare  caualli  &  il  resto  sono 
galere  futile. 

Tene  continuamenti  numero  200  patroni  de  galere  pagati  che  hano 
soldo  fra  tutti  aspri  200000  alanno  di  spexa. 

Tene  continuo  mille  homeni  axapi  zoe  marinero  di  galeri  &  ne  a  di 
spexa  alano  fra  tutti  aspri  400000. 

Maistri  ouero  proti  numero  50  che  sono  sopra  a  far  lauorare  le  galere 
zoe  farle  chi  inocio  hanno  soldo  aspri  6  il  di  &  quando  lauorano 
hano  aspri  12  il  di. 

Emino  zoe  capo  de  questi  a  aspri  40  il  di  vno  scriuan  che  ten  conto 
ha  aspri  28  al  di  con  10  scriuani  sotto  lui  con  aspri  80  al  di  fra 

El  Zustiniano  zoe  vno  zentilomo  Venetiano  che  serue  il  Turcho  &  e 
sopra  a  far  fare  galere  ancora  lui  spexe  straordinaria  ha  di  soldo 
aspri  50  il  di. 

Vno  Beglerbei  dil  mar  zoe  Signor  de  Signori  capo  sopra  le  terre  mari- 
time che  a  di  entrata  due,  14000  &  traze  piu  dil  duplo  sopra  rodi 
metelino  negropote  &  il  tribute  di  sio  isole  in  mar. 

II  Beglerbei  di  la  gretia  zoe  capo  di  tutto  il  paese  di  la  gretia  magior 
de  tutti  li  altri  a  di  entrada  ducati  260  millia  a  lanno  &  traze  il 
duplo  &  a  schiaui  1000. 


Vno  protoiro  zoe  loco  tenente  di  la  gretia  a  ducati  4000  di  entrada  a 
lanno  &  a  schiaui  300. 

Vno  Deftero  zoe  texorero  de  le  entrate  di  la  gretia  che  loro  domandano 
timari  a  ducati  3000  de  entra  da  a  lanno  &  ha  900  schiaui  soi 

Cento  scriuani  che  tengono  li  libri  &  coti  dil  Signor  a  di  entrada  fra 
tutti  a  lanno  ducati  loooo. 

Trentasette  Sanzachibei  zoe  contadi  Signori  per  il  paese  che  han  di 
entrada  di  5  in  12  millia  ducati  a  lanno  secondo  il  grado  loro  chi 
piu  chi  meno  &  hano  vno  per  laltro  in  tutto  duca,  260  millia  a 
lanno  &  300  schiaui  per  vno. 

Quatrocento  Subasi  per  il  paxe  dil  Signor  zoe  Capitanio  di  lustitia 
che  hano  due.  100  alanno  per  vno  di  entrada  &  hano  50  schiaui 
per  vno  soi  famigli. 

Trenta  millia  Spachi  che  hanno  di  entrada  luno  per  laltro  ducati  200 
per  vno  alanno  &  ciaschaduno  de  ditti  per  ogni  ducati  100  che 
hano  di  entrada  deue  tener  vno  homo  armato  di  lanza  a  cauallo 
&  oltra  le  lanze  hanno  tre  o  4  famigli  per  vno  &  altri  tanti  caualli 
zoe  li  Spachi. 

Vintimillia  Trimarati  zoe  qlli  che  scodano  le  entrate  per  il  paese  hano 
due  40  de  di  entrata  alanno  p  vno  &  per  che  non  ariuano  a  li  100 
ducati  dintrada  no  si  chiamano  spachi  &  sono  homeni  a  cauallo  & 
vano  in  campo. 

Li  Spacoglani  li  sopradetti  timari  cioe  entrade  de  le  decime  de  tutte 
le  entrade  cosi  de  christiani  como  di  turchi  splenza  aspri  25  per 
testa  da  li  christiani  &  da  langaria  de  li  animali  &  altra  quanto 
pagano  dil  Signor  zoe  piu  o  meno  secondo  diuersi  paesi. 

Sesantamillia  laching  zoe  ventureri  scritti  per  il  paese  obligadi  andare 
in  campo  quando  place  al  Signor  senza  soldo  &  quando  vano  a  la 
guerra  le  ville  &  cita  li  dano  il  modo  dil  viuere. 

Tutti  li  spachi  sono  schiaui  &  figli  de  schiaui  del  Sig. 

Sette  Beglerbei  zoe  Signor  de  signori  sopra  bassavno  che  se  chiama 
di  la  natolia  ilquale  era  antichamete  in  assia  minore  il  qual  a  di 
entrata  ducati  24000  &  ne  traze  assai  piu  &  a  sotto  se  il  ponte 
labitinia  azia  ppia  Lindia  carian,  licia  prouincie  &  a  schiaui  1000 
soi  seruitori  &  a  sanzachi  12  sotto  lui  zoe  Signoroti  co  entrada  da 
4  in  6000  ducati  alanno  per  vno  &  schiaui  500  pervno  &  Spachi 
1000  sotto  se  CO  soldo  da  5  in  10  aspri  al  di  pervno  secodo  la  codi- 
tion  loro  &  qste  Beglerbei  e  di  piu  authorita  de  li  altri  &  e  forte 
nominato  per  il  paese  questi  Spachi  no  hano  tanta  entrata  como 
vtsupra  per  essere  piu  abondantia  la. 


Beglerbei  de  caramania  chera  silicia  &  pamlilia  prouincie  ha  di  en- 
trata  ducati  lo  millia  &  a  7  sanzachi  sotto  se  con  soldo  ditte  & 
spachi  numero  500  sotto  c6  soldo  como  laltro  beglerbei  &  schiaui 
Beglerbei  di  auadoule  che  e  tra  la  soria  &  Caramania  &  tocato  era  gia 
Pamphlagonia  che  e  la  mita  di  larmenia  minore  ha  di  entrada 
ducati  10  millia  alanno  &  sette  sanzachi  che  hano  di  entrada  da 
4  in  5000  ducati  alano  &  a  schiaui  100  &  Spachi  700  sotto  lui  quan do 
11  Signor  hera  fora  si  dice  questo  Beglerbei  faceua  persone  da 
caualcare  senza  soldo  numero  30  millia. 
Beglerbei  di  la  mexopotania  sotti  ilqual  e  il  resto  di  larmenia  minor 
&  parte  di  la  magiore  che  laltra  parte  e  dil  Sophi  &  dacordo  a  di 
entrata  ducati  trenta  miUia  8:  schiaui  due  milUa  &  sanzachi  12  con 
entrada  vt  supra  &  spachi  diece  milHa  co  soldo  vtsupra  &  confina 
con  baldach  zoe  la  babilonia  vera. 
Baglerbei  di  Damascho  &  Soria  &  Giudea  a  di  entrada  ducati  24 
milha  &  schiaui  due  millia  &  sanzachi  12  con  entrada  vtsupra  & 
a  Spachi  numero  vintimillia  sotto  di  lui. 
Beghlerbei  di  Alcario  ha  di  entrada  ducati  trentamiUia  &  schiaui 
quarto  millia  Sazachi  16  con  entrada  vr  supra  per\Tio  &  Spachi 
sedeci  miUia  sotto  lui  &  lanizeri  tre  millia  &  va  fina  alamecha  cioe 
fina  a  la  arabia  liquali  ello  possede  como  si  fa  deli  albanesi  per 
forza  benche  la  arabia  felize  stia  in  magior  obedientia. 
Tra  lamecha  h  Sophi  sono  alcuni  Signori  arabi  poi  il  resto  confina 
con  il  Sophi  fina  in  la  mexopotania  in  laqual  e  baldach  zoe  Babi- 
lonia poi  passato  la  mexopotania  cofina  il  Suphi  ne  la  pianura  di 
nassimo  poi  exdrun   &  extum  che  sono  in  la  armenia  mazore 
laqual  cofina   con  Zorgiani  &  hiberi  &  ne   larmenia  mazor  & 
minor  sono  assai  cordi  obedienti  quelli  de  la  mazor  parte  al  Signor 
Turcho  &  parte  al  Sophi  Re  di  persia  &  trabixonda  lucho  de  Im- 
perio  in  mar  magior  cofina  con  mengreli  zoe  mengrelia  doue  non 
si  spende  danari  &  ancora  confina  co  giorgiani  che  antichamente 
si  dimandauano  colchi  azamia  chera  asiria  e  dil  Sophi. 
Armenia  magior  e  minor  sono  christiani  assai  di  quelH  di  san  Thomaso 
trabixonda  sono  greci  &  mengreli  sono  christiani  &  giorgiani  sono 
Ottoma  hebe  in  sua  copagnia  ad  acqstare  il  dominio  vno  michaU  greco 
fatto  turco  dal  qual  son  dissexi  li  mazalogh  zoe  mamaluchi  de 
laqual  stirpe  ne  vno  hora  sanzaco  in  bosina  zoe  Conte  devna  pro- 


Malco  greco  renegato  alqual  sono  nasiuti  li  malcozogli,  &  di  quella 
stirpe  ne  vno  &  e  Sanzaco  in  gretia.  Aurami  che  si  chiamano 
Eurcassi  de  laqual  stirpe  non  si  sa  che  ne  sia  alcun  hora. 

Tutti  questi  generatione  promisse  ottoman  di  no  mettere  mai  mane 
nel  sangue  loro  ne  mancharli  mai  di  magistrato  &  ancora  si  con- 
serua  la  promessa  fatali  &  questi  furono  quelli  che  aiutomo  la 
caxa  ottomana. 

Intrada  dil  gran  Turcho  de  caragi  zoe  tributatii  caua  ducati  1300000 
da  la  Natolia  &  grecia  caua  ducati  1600000  di  Egipto  caua  due. 
700000  de  Soria  caua  ducati  150000  de  mexopotania  ducati 
250000  questi  danari  caua  si  non  di  terra  ferma  senza  le  Isole  che 
sotto  lui  &  li  douane  di  Constantinopli  e  pera. 

Le  entrate  che  se  dice  disse  il  Signer  Aluise  Gritti  che  sono  piu  presto 
piu  che  mcno  &  la  spexa  di  la  porta  zoe  di  la  corte  dil  Signor  penso 
che  cosuma  tutta  la  entrada  o  poco  mono. 

Li  Beglerbei  di  egitto  stano  sotto  il  beglerbei  di  Alcairo  per  la  magior 
parte  &  li  sono  Sanzachi  sino  in  lamecha  doue  sta  larcha  de  macomet 
Zingil  Ghebur  lurcan  &  Tibris  fiumi  dil  Paradiso  Terestro. 

Li  Beglerbei  &  li  Sanzachi  a  chi  piu  chi  meno  secodo  la  autorita  sua 
&  son  pagati  de  li  territori  doue  st  no  escetto  quelli  che  pigliano 
soldo  dil  gran  Turcho  la  entrada  de  li  ditti  non  si  po  sapere  a  ponto 
bisogna  per  arbitrio  pensarla  zoe  de  quelli  di  egitto. 


zoe  contadi  che  sono  sotto  li  Beglerbei  &  si  nomina  li  paexi  doue  sono  & 
Prouincie  doue  stano  e  prima. 

Li  Sanzachi  zoe  Contadi  che  sono     14  Carlali. 

sotto  il  Beglerbei  di  la  Gretia     15  Negroponte. 

prima.  16  Lepanto. 

1  Gretia.  17  Morea. 

2  Cafa.  18  Trighala. 

3  Silistria.  19  Galipoli. 

4  NicopoH.  20  Quaranta  Giexie. 

5  \'idin.  21  Vissa. 

6  Suornich.  22  Crimen: 

7  Bossina.  23  Ochria. 

8  Ersech  del  Ducato.  24  Giostaudil. 

9  Samandria  bclgrado.  25  Mzitrin. 

10  Seruia.  26  Pisdren. 

11  Belgrade.  27  .\lzasar. 

12  Schutari.  28  .\lbasan. 

13  Valona.  29  V'oinuch. 



30  Ciuchene. 


31  Zaiza. 





Li  Sanzachi  che  sono  sotto  il  Beg- 

6  Caugri. 

lerbei  di  la  Natolia  zoe  Asia 

7  Tescheli. 


8  Metesseli. 

I  Giotachie. 

9  Haeid  neli. 

2  Cogia  oUi. 

10  Allaye. 

3  Bolli. 

II  Buga. 

4  Castamoni. 

1 2  Manguixa  il  statto. 

5  Anghori. 

Li  Sanzachi  che  sono  sotto  il  Beg- 

3  Giauich. 

lerbei  di  Cappadocia. 

4  Caraister. 

I  Amassia. 

5  Sauisum. 

2  Cioriun. 

6  Trapixonda. 

Li  Sanzachi  che  sono  sotto  il  Beg- 

2  Naranda. 

lerbei  di  Caramania. 

3  Assar. 

I  Siogna. 

4  Eschi  assar. 

Li  Sanzachi  che  sono  sotto  il  Beg- 

3  Albistanouasi, 

lerbei  di  Auandoule. 

4  Adaria. 

I  Maras. 

5  Tersis. 

2  Sarmus  Sachi. 

Li  Sazachi  che  sono  sotto 

6  Meridim. 

il  beglerbei  di  mesopotaia. 

7  Carput. 

I  Dierbech. 

8  Mussul. 

2  Carachmit. 

9  Exrun. 

3  Argni. 

10  Haiburth. 

4  Solgich. 

Dittilis.    Nassim  nouasi 

5  Casangieph. 

Li  Sanzachi  che  sono  sotto  il  Beg- 


lerbei  di  Soria. 



Cama  ama. 









Questi  sono  i  lochi  che  ha  sotto  il  Turco. 

Questo  sie  la  ordenanza  dil  Capo  dil  Signore  zoe  dil  gran  Turcho  quado 
va  a  la  guerra  primamente  vna  quatita  di  spacoglani  getilomini  con 
lanza  &  spada. 

Inanze  al  primo  bassa  li  va  numero  15  caualli  ornati  p  la  sua  persona  con 
vno  lanizero  per  banda. 


E  poi  tre  garzoni  vcstiti  doro  con  schufie  doro  rosse  vno  H  porta  larcho 

vno  li  porta  le  vcste  &  vno  li  porta  il  ramin  da  laqua. 
E  poi  vno  Aga  con  schufia  doro  zoc  Capitanio. 
E  poi  doi  garzoni  senza  milza  arente  al  bassa. 
E  poi  mille  lanizeri  schopeteri  a  piedi. 
E  poi  da  60  Sanzachi  zoe  stcndardi  a  cauallo. 
E  poi  trombetti  e  tamburin  insiema  a  cauallo. 
E  poi  il  campo  a  refuso  de  diuersi  generationi  e  de  diuersi  lanze  tutti  a 

E  poi  gambelli  muli  bagaie  del  campo. 

E  poi  Gentilomeni  Spachi  a  cauallo  con  spada  &  archo  e  frize  solle. 
E  poi  li  cari  de  lartelaria. 

E  poi  caualli  numero  30  con  briglie  doro  per  la  persona  dil  Signor. 
E  poi  tutti  li  capi  de  li  lanizari  zoe  Boluchbassi  Odabassi  a  cauallo  con 

barete  doro  aguze  con  vno  penagio  di  garzette  bianche  in  zima  con 

lanze  &  con  le  banderolle  zalle. 
E  poi  12  milia  lanizeri  con  schiopetti  alabarde  apedi. 
E  poi  li  solachi  apedi  staferi  dil  Signor  cd  archi  e  frize 
E  poi  il  gran  Turcho  sollo  in  mezo  di  Solachi. 
E  poi  3  garzoni  con  schufie  doro  vestiti  di  pano  doro  che  li  portano  archo 

e  frize  e  laqua  &  veste. 
E  poi  2  monuchi  seza  coioni  a  cauallo  dreto  al  signor 
E  poi  Imralemaga  ch'  porta  il  stedardo  dil  Signor  tutto  verde  sollo. 
E  poi  6  Sanzachi  zoe  bandere  vna  rossa  vna  biacha  vna  verde  due  diuixa 

vna  rossa  e  bianca  &  vna  verde  e  rosso  a  cauallo. 
E  poi  trombeteri  &  tamburi  a  cauallo. 
E  poi  il  campo  arefuxo  con  li  dulipante  a  cauallo  co  lanze  e  spada  con  le 

banderole  rosse. 
A  la  banda  destra  dil  Signor  Spacoglani  a  cauallo  co  lanze  con  banderole 

A  la  banda  sinistra  dil  Signor  Selictari  a  cauallo  con  lanze  con  banderolle 

rosse  e  bianche. 
E  poi  gambelli  &  mulli  e  bagaie  dil  campo  e  pagi. 
E  poi  Spachi  con  lanze  a  cauallo  con  dulipati  biachi. 
E  poi  vno  bassa  solo  con  soi  Stafeti. 
E  poi  22  Sanzachi  zoe  stendardi  a  cauallo. 
E  poi  trombeteri  tamburi  a  cauallo. 
E  poi  il  campo  a  refuso  de  diuerse  sorte  con  dulipant  &  barette  rosse  de  piu 

sorte  generatione. 
E  poi  gambelli  e  muli  e  bagaie  dil  campo  insema. 
E  poi  tutti  li  lachingi  zoe  ventureri. 

Questo  libro  e  stato  cauato  da  lonus  bei  il  qual  era  greco  &  hora  e 
turcho  &  e  interpetro  grande  dil  Signor  &  dal  Signor  Aluise  grit- 
ti  fiol  dil  Duxo  di  V'enctia  &  tutto  e  vero. 



Translated  from  the  Turkish 

[From  folios  6Q-70  of  the  Turkish  MS.  Fluegel  No.  1816,  Imperial  Library,  Vienna:  "Funda- 
mental Laws  of  Sultan  Suleiman,  according  to  the  arrangement  of  the  Mufti  Ebu-Su'ud."  The 
table  does  not  begin  till  folio  27  of  the  manuscript.  The  page  references  are  to  Hammer's  Slaats- 
ver/assung,  where  a  translation  of  the  paragraphs  may  be  found.) 


27.  Law  concerning  mortgage  and  loan  contracts.  p.  396 

28.  Law  concerning  fallow  fields.  p.  397 

29.  Law  concerning  uncultivated  lands.  p.  398 

29.  Law  concerning  absent  and  missing  [tenants].  p.  398 

30.  Law  concerning  the  hereditary  tenancy  of  land  (tapu),  and 

regulations  determining  what  sort  of  lands  are  given  in 
hereditary  tenancy.  p.  399 

31.  Regulations  for  the  case  when  a  SpaJii  of  either  a  large  or  a 

small  fief  possesses  his  fief  in  common  ownership.  p.  401 

32.  Regulations  for  the  case  when  a  Spahi  dies  or  is  dispossessed 

before  the  delivery  of  the  hereditary  lease.     (In  Hammer 

the  heading  is  different  and  is  not  logically  placed.)  p.  403 

2,:^.   Regulations  for  the  case  when  the  tenant  dies  before  the 

expiration  of  the  hereditary  lease.  p.  404 

^2,-  Law  concerning  the  giving  out  of  the  winter  and  summer 
pastures  and  concerning  the  legal  relationships  of  meadow 
lands.  p.  199 

34.  Law  concerning  the  ground  tax,  concerning  the  taxes  upon 

state-lands,  sandy  fields,  peasants'  houses,  etc.  p.  406 

35.  Law  concerning  the  tenth,  the  tax  upon  vineyards,  leased 

vineyards,  the  bushel,  and  the  bushel-tax.  p.  407 

36.  Law  concerning  the  tenth,  the  fifth,  and  the  fodder  tenth 

{salariyeh).  p.  407 

37.  Regulations  for  the  case  of  joint  ownership  when  more  than 

the  tenth  of  the  crop,  namely,  the  half  or  the  fifth,  is 
demanded  from  the  Spahi.     (Not  found  in  Hammer.) 

38.  Special  regulations  regarding  the  tenths  of  the  Spahis.    (Not 

found  in  Hammer.) 

39.  Law  concerning  the  taxes  on  mills  and  green  produce.  p.  408 

39.  Law  concerning  the  landlord's  share,  the  tenths  and  the 

fruits.  p.  408 

40.  Law  concerning  the  tenths  [of  honey,  the  tax  on]  bees, 

other  taxes,  etc.  p.  409 




41.  Law  concerning  the  sheep-tax  and  the  fold-tax.  p.  410 

42.  Law  concerning  the  obligations  of  subjects  and  the  tax  on 

prisoners.     (Hammer,  the  slave-tax.)  p.  410 

42.  Law  concerning  the  half-hide-tax.     (Hammer,  the  bride-tax.)    p.  411 

43.  Law  concerning  the  hide-tax  and  the  ta.xes  on  abandoned 

lands.  p.  411 

44.  Law  concerning  fleeing  the  country.  P-  412 

45.  Law  concerning  the  wandering  hordes.  p.  413 

46.  Law  concerning  the  wagoners.  p.  413 

47.  Law  concerning  the  irregular  cavalry.  (Hammer,  fiefs  for 

public  service.)  p.  414 

48.  Law  concerning  the  Yayas  and  Moscllcms  (free  foot-soldiers) .  p.  4 1 5 

49.  Law  concerning  the  imperial  foundations  and  the  vakjs.  p.  416 
49.    Regulations  concerning  lawsuits  over  land.  p.  417 

51.  Law  concerning  the  time  of  the  harvest.  p.  418 

52.  Law  concerning  the  harvest  and  the  designation  of  those 

persons  who  receive  their  income  out  of  landed  property 
but  not  at  the  time  of  harvest.  (Not  a  separate  heading 
in  Hammer.)  p.  419 

53.  Special   regulations  concerning  fiefs   in   regard   to   dating, 

registering,  etc.     (Not  found  in  Hammer.) 

54.  Law  concerning  the  intendants  of  the  fiscus,  the  receivers  of 

taxes,  and  regulations  concerning  the  revenues  of  the 

court.  p.  419 

55.  Law  concerning  the  holders  of  great  and  small  fiefs,  and 

concerning  the  freedom  of  some  military  persons  from 
certain  occasional  taxes.  p.  421 

56.  Law  concerning  the  Beylerbeys,  the  Sanjak  Beys,  and  the 

Kapuji-basliis.  p.  422 

57.  Law  concerning  the  fees  of  judges,  p.  423 

57.  Law  concerning  the  contents  of  the  berats  of  the  judges 

(their  diplomas  of  appointment).     (Omitted  in  Hammer.) 

58.  Regulations  concerning  lawsuits  between  Spahis  and  non- 

Mohammedans  or  between  two  Spahis.  p.  424 

60.  Law  concerning  taxes  which  are  demanded  from  leased  land 
when  the  tenth  alone  is  insufficient.  (Not  found  in  Ham- 



"  The  uncommon  abilities  of  most  of  the  princes,  with  the  mild  and  humane  character  of  all, 
rendered  Hindostan  the  most  flourishing  empire  in  the  world  during  two  complete  centuries." —  Dow. 

General  Comparison  of  Ottoman  and  Indian  Conditions 

When  Baber  first  rode  do\vTi  through  the  grim  gates  of  India's 
northwest  mountain-wall,  the  accession  of  Suleiman  lay  but  a  year  in 
the  future;  the  Mogul  won  the  battle  of  Panipat  but  four  months 
before  the  Turk  was  victorious  at  Mohacs,  Thus  the  founding  of  the 
Mogul  Empire  nearly  coincided  with  the  meridian  splendor  of  the 
Ottoman  power,  and  its  decisive  battle  of  establishment  W'ith  the 
victory  which  led  to  the  last  great  extension  of  Ottoman  authority 
into  Europe.  Not  Baber  or  even  Akbar,  Suleiman's  contempo- 
raries, but  Aurangzeb,  whose  reign  began  a  century  after  Suleiman's 
death,  affords  the  closest  comparison  with  the  Turkish  monarch; 
yet  the  third  battle  of  Panipat  in  1761  marked  the  \drtual  destruction 
of  the  Mogul  Empire,  whereas  the  second  battle  of  Mohacs  in  1687 
meant  but  the  first  noteworthy  step  of  the  Ottoman  retreat.  The 
house  of  Timur  has  disappeared  from  history,  while  the  house  of 
Osman  still  reigns  over  wide  territories;  less  than  two  and  a  half 
centuries  of  genuine  sovereign  rule  were  enjoyed  by  the  Moguls, 
while  six  centuries  have  not  sufficed  to  measure  the  independent 
existence  of  the  Ottomans. 

The  Mogul  emperors  perhaps  never  ruled  so  large  a  territory  as  the 
Ottoman  sultans,  but  their  lands  were  far  more  productive ;  moreover, 
having  from  five  to  ten  times  as  many  subjects  as  their  Western 
cousins  and  an  income  in  proportion,  they  could  surpass  even  the 
Magnificent  Suleiman  in  display  and  largesse.  The  inferior  persistence 
of  their  dominion,  therefore,  suggests  inferior  strength  and  stability  in 
their  institutions,  a  suggestion  to  which  even  a  limited  investigation 
lends  much  support. 

'  The  object  of  this  appendix  is  to  set  forth  in  outline  the  features  of  the  Mogul 
government,  in  order  to  suggest  comparison  with  that  of  the  Ottoman  Empire. 
Completeness  neither  of  research  nor  of  exposition  has  been  attempted.  A  list 
of  the  authorities  consulted,  most  of  which  are  secondary,  will  be  found  at  the  end 
of  the  appendix. 



The  Moguls  shared  with  the  Ottomans  their  relation  to  the  ideas 
of  the  Mongol  and  Turkish  Tatars  of  the  steppe  lands,  and  to  those  of 
the  Persians  and  the  Arabs.  They  were  more  directly  and  vitally 
influenced  by  the  Tatars  and  Persians,  and  less  directly  by  the  Arabs. 
Farther  than  this  their  relations  were  not  to  the  comparatively 
organized  and  energetic  civilization  of  the  Mediterranean  but  to  the 
more  speculative  and  passive  culture  of  India.  Over  the  lands  into 
which  they  entered  as  conquerors  lay  the  shadow  not  of  sternly  practi- 
cal Roman  legalism,  but  of  Hindu  and  Buddhist  contempt  for  things 

They  founded  a  despotism,  but  one  that  was  never,  even  under 
Aurangzeb,  so  closely  related  to  the  Sacred  Law  of  Mohammed  as  was 
the  government  of  Suleiman.  They  ruled  a  variety  of  lands  in  a 
variety  of  relationships,  but  never  with  the  stern  control  exercised  by 
the  Kaisar-i-Riim  (Roman  emperor),  the  name  which  they  ga\e  to 
the  Turkish  ruler  at  Constantinople.  They  enforced  the  obedience  of 
many  peoples,  who  spoke  many  languages  and  practised  many  forms 
of  religion;  yet  they  never  held  these  peoples  under  any  such  iron 
system  of  subjection  as  that  which  dominated  the  Christian  subjects 
of  the  sultan,  even  to  the  seizure  of  their  children  for  tribute. 

Since  the  passing  of  those  prehistoric  times  when  all  human  ideas 
were  solidified  together  into  a  single  "  crust  of  custom,"  every  nation 
has  probably  had  two  leading  institutions,  more  or  less  closely  con- 
nected, —  the  one  of  religion  and  the  other  of  government.  The 
foregoing  pages  have  shown  how  powerful  and  pervasive  were  the 
Ottoman  Ruling  Institution  and  the  Moslem  Institution  in  the  Otto- 
man Empire.  In  the  parallel  organizations  of  the  empire  of  the 
Moguls,  however,  it  is  not  possible  to  discern  comparable  unique 
individuality,  systematic  structure,  and  ordered  efhciency.  Some 
allowance  must  be  made  for  a  comparative  lack  of  information,  since 
not  many  Western  observers  have  described  the  more  distant  empire; 
but  this  fact  can  hardly  alter  the  conclusion  materially.  The  institu- 
tional structure  of  the  Mogul  Empire  was  decidedly  inferior  to  that  of 
the  Ottoman  Empire  in  solidity,  system,  and  persistent  energy. 

The  Personnel  of  the  Mogul  Government 

Baber's  following  consisted  of  the  comrades  of  his  many  years  of 
fighting,  an  army  of  cavalry,  artillery,  and  musketry  composed  in 
ancient  Turkish  fashion  of  high-spirited  men  attached  to  their  chief 
by   impressive    leadership   and   open-handed   generosity.     Courage, 


military  prowess,  and  the  nominal  profession  of  Islam  were  the 
necessary  qualifications;  differences  of  race,  education,  and  Moslem 
doctrine  were  disregarded.  Warriors  of  Turki  stock,  Persians  of 
Shiite  leanings,  hardy  Afghans,  "  Roman  "  artillery  engineers  from 
Stambul,  were  equals  in  the  rough  brotherhood  of  Baber's  camp. 
The  principle  of  subordination,  at  least  among  persons  of  consequence, 
was  not  that  of  slaves  to  their  master,  but  of  tribesmen  to  their  chief, 
of  vassals  to  their  honored  suzerain. 

When  Turks  had  first  invaded  India,  five  centuries  before,  slavery 
as  a  means  of  recruiting  and  training  soldiers  and  governors  was  in  full 
swing.  Mahmud  of  Ghazni  was  the  son  of  a  father  who  had  risen 
through  slavery.  The  thirteenth  century  saw  enthroned  at  Delhi  a 
dynasty  of  slave  kings  which  antedated  by  several  decades  the  Mame- 
lukes of  Egypt.  Late  in  the  fourteenth  century  Firoz  III  owned 
180,000  slaves,  of  whom  40,000  constituted  his  household.  The 
Mameluke  government  endured  for  more  than  two  and  a  half  cen- 
turies, until  overthrown  by  the  more  centralized  and  efl&cient  slave 
system  of  the  Ottomans;  but  in  Central  Asia  and  ultimately  in  India 
a  new  force  speedily  rendered  the  slave  method,  save  for  some 
survivals,  antiquated  and  impossible. 

The  dominance  of  the  Mongols  was  based  on  the  discipline  of  an 
army  of  freemen  who  were  intelligent  enough  willingly  to  render 
absolute  obedience  to  their  officers  as  the  well-tested  condition  of 
certain  success.  With  the  break-up  of  the  vast  Mongol  Empire,  the 
lands  now  in  Russian  Central  Asia,  Afghanistan,  and  Persia  lapsed 
toward  the  horde  organization  of  nomad  Tatars,  but  became  more  and 
more  modified  by  Moslem  feudalism.  Under  such  conditions,  Timur, 
high-born  and  adventurous,  chivalrous  and  literary,  fanatical  and 
cruel,  achieved  an  empire  that  was  large  and  splendid,  but  personal 
to  himself,  and  destined  to  vanish  almost  with  its  founder.  Yet  he 
presaged  a  time  when  in  Asia  and  Europe  alike  there  should  come, 
after  the  disintegrating  individualism  of  the  fourteenth  and  fifteenth 
centuries,  a  period  of  the  gathering  together  of  lands  and  peoples 
into  large  units  under  strong  personal  governments. 

Baber,  descendent  of  Timur  in  the  sixth  generation,  descendant  also 
of  Genghis  Khan,  came  at  the  beginning  of  the  new  era.  Less  ruthless 
than  either  of  his  great  ancestors,  less  legal  than  the  "  Inflexible  One," 
less  Moslem  than  the  "  Scourge  of  Asia,"  but  possessed  of  much  of 
the  leadership  and  military  genius  of  both,  he  stands  forth,  by  reason 
of  his  memoirs,  as  one  of  the  best  known  conquerors  of  history.    His 


love  of  carousing,  his  family  afTcction,  his  literary  bent,  his  toleration 
of  heretics  and  infidels,  his  bold  leadership,  his  liberality  in  dividing 
spoil,  presented  qualities  and  suggested  modes  of  activity  which  were 
to  characterize  all  his  descendants  down  to  the  puritanical  Aurangzeb. 

Thus  the  family  life  of  the  house  of  Baber  was  far  more  normal  than 
that  of  the  house  of  Osman.  In  contrast  with  an  almost  unbroken 
line  of  Ottoman  slave  mothers  and  wives,  whose  names  with  those  of 
their  daughters  have  hardly  survived,  many  of  the  Mogul  imperial 
ladies  are  well  known.  Witness  the  princess  Gul-Badan,  daughter 
of  Baber,  who  like  her  father  wrote  memoirs;  the  empress  Nur-Jehan, 
who  ruled  India  for  a  time;  and  the  empress  Mumtaz-Mahal,  for  whom 
her  devoted  husband  built  the  fairest  of  all  mausoleums.  Turki 
princesses,  ladies  of  high  Persian  descent,  and  daughters  of  Hindu 
Rajahs,  were  taken  into  the  imperial  harem,  where,  though  women 
and  eunuchs  were  present "  from  Russia,  Circassia,  Mingrelia,  Georgia, 
and  Ethiopia,"  no  emperors  sprang  from  slave  mothers  during  the 
period  of  greatness.  With  such  a  policy  in  the  family  which  con- 
stituted a  chief  element  in  the  unity  of  the  Mogul  Empire,  it  was  but 
natural  that  officers  and  soldiers,  statesmen  and  public  servants, 
should  be  accepted  with  a  like  catholicity.  The  best  fighters,  of 
course,  continued  to  be  those  who  came  down  newly  from  the  high 
country  beyond  the  northwest  passes;  and  since  such  of  these  as  met 
success  were  apt  to  send  for  relatives  and  friends,  there  was  continual 
recruiting  from  among  Tatars,  Persians,  Afghans,  and  Arabs,  —  all 
Moslems,  but  of  various  sects.  "  Rumis  "  from  the  Ottoman  Empire 
were  especially  useful  in  the  artillery  service.  Some  of  them  were 
doubtless  European  renegades,  but  "  Firinjis  "  or  Franks  were  likely 
to  come  more  directly  from  Portugal  and  other  European  countries. 
Yet  by  no  means  all  the  brave  were  from  foreign  lands.  Many 
Rajputs  under  their  own  Rajahs  served  the  Mogul  emperors  most 
acceptably,  and  when  treated  without  prejudice  they  were  faithful. 
The  high  officers  of  government  were  usually  Persians;  but  Akbar 
was  nobly  served  by  the  great  Todar  Mai,  and  appointed  Rajahs  to 
govern  the  Punjab  and  Bengal.  About  one  in  eight  of  his  paid 
cavalry  chiefs  was  a  Hindu;  and  of  the  lesser  civil-service  positions 
the  mere  necessity  for  numbers,  aj')art  from  superior  skill  and  training, 
required  that  many  should  be  held  by  Hindus. 

It  is  not  that  slavery  had  disappeared  from  the  INIogul  system. 
Traces  of  the  old  method  can  be  discerned  as  late  as  the  eighteenth 
century.     In  fact,   Muhammad  Khan,  a  Bangash  Xawab  of  Far- 


rukhabad,  maintained  what  was  practically  a  replica  in  miniature  of 
the  Ottoman  system.  Hindu  boys  between  the  ages  of  seven  and 
thirteen,  some  of  them  sons  of  Rajputs  and  Brahmins,  were  seized, 
bought,  or  accepted  as  chelas  or  slaves  to  the  number  of  one  or  two 
hundred  a  year.  They  were  taught  to  read  and  write,  and  were 
specially  rewarded  when  the  task  was  completed.  Five  hundred 
chelas  from  eighteen  to  twenty  years  of  age  were  trained  as  a  regiment 
of  musketeers.  From  among  the  older  chelas  were  chosen  the  officers 
of  the  household,  generals  of  the  army,  and  deputy  governors  of 
provinces.  The  Nawab  arranged  marriages  between  chelas  and  the 
daughters  of  chelas.  He  encouraged  them  to  acquire  personal  prop- 
erty, which  he  could  claim  in  time  of  need;  but  he  forbade  them  to 
found  towns  or  build  masonry  structures,  lest  occupying  these  they 
might  tend  toward  independence.  IVIuhammad  Khan  did  not,  how- 
ever, depend  exclusively  on  his  Hindu  slaves;  he  sent  money  to  his 
own  Bangash  tribe,  and  thus  obtained  a  colony  of  Afghans  to  whom  he 
gave  high  military  positions  and  upon  some  of  whom  he  bestowed  his 
daughters  in  marriage.  Other  vassals  of  the  emperor  made  use  of  a 
similar  slave  system;  and  it  is  not  unUkely  that  the  emperor  himself 
recruited  his  permanent  infantry  with  the  help  of  slavery,  and  that  he 
promoted  some  slaves  to  high  positions.  But  the  absence  of  definite 
information  in  this  direction  is  in  most  striking  contrast  to  its  abundant 
presence  in  the  records  which  deal  with  the  Ottoman  Empire  in  the 
sixteenth  century. 

In  theory  the  officers  of  government  were  so  far  the  ser\'ants  of  the 
emperor  that  their  accumulated  personal  property  belonged  to  him 
at  their  death ;  but  in  practice  the  opulence  and  the  generosity  of  the 
sovereign  led  him  often  to  leave  such  wealth  in  the  hands  of  the 
officers'  children.  When  this  was  not  done,  employment  in  the 
public  service  was  assigned  to  sons  and  pensions  were  granted  to 

Titles  of  nobihty  were  awarded  for  life  to  distinguished  officials; 
the  chief  officers  of  the  central  government  and  governors  of  great 
provinces  were  called  Emirs  {Omrahs  in  many  Western  writings, 
probably  a  plural  of  majesty),  generals  of  the  army  were  Khans, 
and  distinguished  soldiers  of  lesser  rank  were  Bahadurs  or  knights, 
Khondamir  says  that  Humayun  organized  a  system  of  twelve 
orders  or  arrows,  according  to  which  the  entire  imperial  house- 
hold was  graded.  "  The  twelfth  arrow,  which  was  made  of  the 
purest  gold,  was  put  in  the  auspicious  quiver  of  this  powerful  king, 


and  nobody  could  dare  to  touch  it.  The  eleventh  arrow  belonged 
to  His  Majesty's  relations  and  brethren,  and  all  the  sultans  who  were 
in  the  government  employ.  Tenth,  to  the  great  miishaikhs,  saiyids, 
and  the  learned  and  religious  men.  Ninth,  to  the  great  nobles. 
Eighth,  to  the  courtiers  and  some  of  the  king's  personal  attendants. 
Seventh,  to  the  attendants  in  general.  Sixth,  to  the  harems  and  to  the 
well-behaved  female  attendants.  Fifth,  to  young  maid-servants. 
Fourth,  to  the  treasurers  and  stewards.  Third,  to  the  soldiers. 
Second,  to  the  menial  servants.  First,  to  the  palace  guards,  camel- 
drivers,  and  the  like.  Each  of  these  arrows  or  orders  had  three  grades; 
the  highest,  the  middle,  and  the  lowest."  Appointments  and  pro- 
motions were,  as  at  Constantinople,  based  upon  valor  and  manifest 
ability.  Through  all  the  period  of  greatness  the  ladder  of  advance- 
ment was  kept  so  clear  that  vigor,  courage,  and  prowess  could  mount 
from  the  lowest  ranks  to  the  steps  of  the  throne. 

Relation  of  Government  to  Religious  Propagation 

When  the  Ottoman  Turks  conquered  their  European  territories, 
as  well  as  parts  of  their  Asiatic  dominions,  they  for  the  first  time 
introduced  the  Moslem  religion.  This  was  not  the  case  with  the 
Mogul  advance  into  India.  Beginning  with  Mohammed  ben  Kasim's 
invasion  of  Sind  in  712  A.D.,  and  starting  afresh  with  Mahmud  of 
Ghazni  in  1000  a.d.,  the  Moslem  political  control,  accompanied  by  the 
conversion  of  a  portion  of  the  native  population,  had  spread  step  by 
step  until,  when  Baber  came  after  eight  centuries,  there  remained 
little  of  India  that  was  not  actually  or  had  not  at  some  time  been  under 
Moslem  rule.  No  data  appear  to  exist  for  determining  the  actual 
proportion  of  the  total  population  that  was  Moslem  during  the  Mogul 
period.  Guesses  have  been  made  ranging  from  a  possible  one  in 
four  to  Bernier's  estimate  of  one  in  hundreds.  The  only  basis  of 
any  value  would  perhaps  be  that  obtained  by  working  backward 
from  the  British  censuses.  In  191 1  the  Mohammedans  constituted 
about  twenty-one  per  cent  of  the  population  of  India,  and  their  number 
was  increasing  at  a  slightly  more  rapid  rate  than  the  average.  It 
maybe  supposed  that  the  increase  of  the  Moslem  proportion  was  greater 
during  the  days  of  the  Mogul  Empire,  when  it  was  especially  profit- 
able to  change,  and  when  there  was  a  strong  inward  flow  at  the 
northwest;  but  since  the  Mogul  decline  the  rate  of  relative  progress 
has  probably  always  been  slow.  Perhaps  the  proportion  about  1761 
was  somewhat  less  than  one  in  five,  and  in  1526  it  may  have  been  not 


more  than  one  in  from  ten  to  twenty.  Bemier's  guess  would  certainly 
seem  to  have  been  wild,  for  it  is  inconceivable  that  so  small  progress 
would  have  been  made  in  a  thousand  years  and  so  great  in  the  next 
two  hundred.  No  doubt  the  Moslem  contingent  was  then,  as  it  is 
now,  unevenly  distributed,  being  in  high  proportion  in  the  northwest 
and  diminishing  gradually  with  the  distance  from  the  mountain  passes. 
At  points  on  the  seacoast  where  trade  had  been  active,  the  Moslem 
influence  had  come  early  by  way  of  the  sea;  hence  there  also  the 
percentage  was  greater.  In  Suleiman's  empire,  comprising  as  it  did  a 
large  amount  of  old  Moslem  territory  and  including  even  the  Holy 
Cities,  the  proportion  of  Moslems  was,  of  course,  much  higher;  but 
it  diminished  rapidly  from  south  to  north,  until  in  Hungary  it  must 
have  been  extremely  attenuated. 

In  the  absence  of  an  elaborate  slave  system  in  India,  there  was 
not  the  steady  public  machinery  of  conversion  which  operated  power- 
fully in  the  Ottoman  Empire.  Furthermore,  it  would  seem  that  before 
the  reign  of  Aurangzeb  no  emperor  cared  to  promote  conversion  to 
Islam  by  financial  or  political  rewards.  Akbar,  in  fact,  removed  the 
jizyeh,  or  poll-tax,  which  had  previously,  as  in  all  other  truly  Moslem 
lands  until  recent  times,  laid  special  burdens  upon  unbelievers,  and 
the  tax  was  not  reimposed  until  the  time  of  Aurangzeb.  Akbar  also 
forbade  the  enslavement  of  captives  and  of  their  wives  and  children. 
For  a  century,  therefore,  the  government  lent  little  encouragement  to 
change  of  faith.  Down  to  the  accession  of  Aurangzeb  there  was  a 
clear  contrast  between  Ottoman  and  Mogul  policy  in  the  attitude 
toward  the  Moslem  religion:  the  Moguls  held  far  less  than  the 
Ottomans  to  the  idea  of  the  conquest  of  the  world  for  Islam,  or  to 
the  conversion  of  unbelievers,  as  an  object  of  governmental  endeavor. 
Aurangzeb  alone  had  such  zeal  as  characterizes  the  average  descendant 
of  Osman;  he  desired  no  infidels  in  his  service,  and  regarded  the 
Deccan  as  the  Dar-ul-harb  which  he  wished  to  make  part  of 
the  Dar-ul-Islam.  There  can  be  no  doubt,  however,  that  under  all  the 
Mogul  emperors  the  social  pressure  usual  in  Moslem  lands  continued 
to  encourage  conversion  privately,  while  the  slavery  which  Islam 
normally  sanctions  was  also  contributing  to  the  increase  of  the  faithful. 
Moreover,  it  is  not  likely  that  all  the  officers  of  the  liberal  emperors 
were  as  tolerant  and  as  indifferent  to  Moslem  progress  as  were  their 


The  Army 

At  Delhi,  as  at  Constantinople,  no  sharp  line  could  be  drawn 
separating  government  and  army.  The  Mogul  conquest  was  achieved 
by  an  army,  and  the  army  became  a  government.  Amalgamation 
with  older  systems  of  course  introduced  groups  of  under-officials 
who  had  no  military  duties;  but  those  who  would  be  great  had  to  be 
capable  of  military  command,  men  who  might  be  familiar  with  the 
pen  but  who  must  know  how  to  wield  the  sword. 

The  Mogul  army  organization  seems,  in  the  midst  of  confused 
testimonies,  to  have  borne  a  considerable  resemblance  to  that  of  the 
Ottomans.  The  emperor  was  commander-in-chief,  and  as  late  as 
Aurangzeb  regularly  commanded  in  person  in  great  campaigns.  He 
had  a  personal  army  of  12,000  to  15,000  paid  infantry  and  12,000  to 
40,000  paid  cavalry.  These  corresponded  in  number  and  function, 
but  not  at  all  in  political  importance,  to  the  Janissaries  and  Spahis 
of  the  Porte  among  the  Ottomans.  In  great  campaigns  the  standing 
army  was  supported  by  the  feudal  cavalry,  estimated  at  from  200,000 
to  400,000,  and  by  indelinite  numbers  of  irregular  infantry,  drawn 
from  a  mass  estimated  at  four  millions.  The  army  was  strong  in 
artillery,  and  possessed  in  trained  elephants  a  force  of  which  the  Otto- 
mans could  not  make  use. 

The  emperor's  infantry  were,  at  least  from  Akbar's  time,  match- 
lockmen;  they  seem  to  have  been  the  only  trustworthy  and  efficient 
foot-soldiers.  It  would  appear  that  their  clumsy  weapons,  improved 
by  Akbar  himself,  were  not  changed  up  to  the  time  of  Aurangzeb; 
for  Bernier  reports  that  in  his  day  the  muskets  were  rested  on  forks 
and  fired  by  men  who  squatted  on  the  ground,  and  who  feared  that 
the  flash  might  damage  their  eyebrows  and  beards.  On  account  of 
the  method  of  payment  it  is  not  possible  to  estimate  closely  the  number 
of  the  emperor's  cavalry,  or  Mansabdars.  Men  who  agreed  to  furnish 
from  five  to  five  thousand  troopers  were  taken  into  his  service,  and 
pay  {mansab)  was  assigned  for  the  stipulated  number;  but  even  in 
Akbar's  time,  according  to  Badauni,  it  was  possible  to  present  fol- 
lowers hired  only  for  the  occasion,  and  yet  to  draw  lifelong  pay  for 
their  services.  In  later  years  there  ceased  to  be  even  approximate 
correspondence  between  the  amount  of  pay  and  the  number  of  troops 
furnished.  The  mansab  was  then  regarded  as  a  salary,  or  even  as  a 

The  more  numerous  feudal  cavalry  consisted  of  the  holders  (with 
their  followers)  oijagirs,  or  grants,  of  the  revenue  of  districts  of  larger 


or  smaller  size,  in  return  for  which  they  served  without  other  pay, 
except  in  case  of  unduly  prolonged  campaigns.  Holders  of  large 
areas  were  accustomed  to  administer  them  in  person,  whereas  those 
who  held  smaller  sections  would  often  leave  the  administration  to  the 
governors  of  provinces,  who  in  time  tended  to  appropriate  the  revenues. 
Aurangzeb,  however,  pursued  the  policy  of  assigning  service  in 
regions  remote  from  the  appointee's  jc^zr,  and  of  retaining  wives  and 
children  at  the  court  as  pledges  of  fidelity.  Hindu  Rajahs  were 
easily  brought  into  the  system  by  being  invested  with  analogous 
rights  in  their  hereditary  territories.  Apart  from  these  cases,  the 
appointments,  as  in  Turkey,  were  not  regarded  as  hereditar\%  but 
were  apt  to  be  given  to  fresh  recruits  of  ability  from  beyond  the 
mountains.  It  was  customary  to  make  small  assignments  to  sons  of 
dead  Jagirdars,  and  to  increase  their  allowances  upon  proof  of  merit. 
Jagirdars  and  Rajahs,  like  Timariotes  and  Zaims,  had  jurisdiction 
and  other  governmental  duties  in  the  areas  assigned  to  them,  and  thus 
carried  a  large  part  of  the  task  of  local  government.  Ultimately 
many  of  the  higher  positions  became  hereditary  in  families  which 
worked  toward  independence  in  the  days  of  decline. 

The  artillery  seems  to  have  been  surprisingly  strong  under  Baber 
and  Humayun,  and  to  have  declined  later.  Baber  is  said  to  have 
had  seven  hundred  guns  at  Panipat,  which  he  chained  together  after 
the  method  employed  by  Selim  I  at  Kaldiran.  Humayun  is  reported 
to  have  had  at  Kanauj  seven  hundred  guns  discharging  stone  balls 
of  five  pounds  weight,  and  twenty-one  guns  discharging  brass  balls 
ten  times  as  heavy.  Aurangzeb,  it  is  said,  transported  seventy  pieces 
of  heavy  artillery  and  two  or  three  hundred  swivel  guns,  mounted  on 
the  backs  of  camels.  For  fortress  defence  and  siege  operations  the 
Moguls  had  a  few  enormous  guns,  some  of  which  are  said  to  have 
required  for  transport  two  hundred  and  fifty  and  even  five  hundred 
oxen!  In  addition  to  these  resources,  it  appears,  if  testimonies  can 
be  trusted,  that  Akbar  kept  five  thousand  war  elephants,  each  of 
which  was  accounted  equal  in  time  of  battle  to  five  hundred  horsemen ; 
and  Hawkins  says  that  Jehangir  had  twelve  thousand  elephants  of 
all  descriptions.  Aurangzeb  is  reported  to  have  maintained  in  the 
palace  stables  the  more  modest  number  of  eight  hundred  elephants. 

The  early  Mogul  armies  were  efficient  and  successful.  Aurangzeb, 
however,  conducted  about  the  Deccan  in  his  twenty-four  years'  war 
of  conquest  a  horde  that  resembled  a  migration  rather  than  an  army. 
For  each  fighting  man  there  were  at  least  two  camp-followers;   the 


march  was  without  discipline  and  order,  like  the  movement  of  a  herd 
of  animals;  and  the  camp  was  a  city  five  miles  long,  or,  as  others  say, 
seven  and  a  half  miles,  or  twenty  miles  in  circumference.  One  Euro- 
pean observer  even  reported  that  the  encampment  was  thirty  miles 
about,  and  contained  five  million  souls!  Among  these  he  counted 
seven  hundred  thousand  soldiers,  of  whom  three  hundred  thousand 
were  cavalry.  With  all  due  allowance  for  exaggeration,  the  Mogul 
army  clearly  tended  to  become  exceedingly  numerous,  but  of  in- 
creasing weakness  and  inefficiency.  A  battle  in  1526  between  Baber 
and  Suleiman  would  have  been  a  worthy  contest,  but  the  army  of 
Aurangzeb  would  probably  have  been  defeated  easily  by  the  Ottoman 
troops  which  bit  the  dust  before  Prince  Eugene. 

The  Court 

Splendid  as  was  the  display  of  Suleiman's  entourage,  it  lacked  the 
financial  basis  which  the  Moguls  possessed  from  Akbar  to  Aurangzeb. 
Gold  and  silver,  gems,  silks  and  muslins,  were  far  more  abundant  in 
the  eastern  land.  A  more  highly  developed  architecture,  showing 
far  greater  richness  of  detailed  ornamentation,  served  in  India  to 
construct  not  only  temples  of  religion  and  tombs  of  great  personages, 
but  also  marvellous  palaces  and  pleasure-houses  for  the  emperors. 
Many  thousands  of  attendants  suppHed  every  possible  luxury  and 
rendered  every  conceivable  service. 

No  systematic  description  of  the  organization  of  the  imperial  house- 
hold has  come  to  hand.  Scattered  allusions  reveal  the  presence  of 
very  numerous  groups  of  officials,  agents,  and  servants  of  all  grades. 
Teachers,  physicians,  scholars,  valets,  chamberlains,  butlers,  cooks, 
kitchen  servants,  musicians,  poets,  generals,  captains,  guards, 
equerries,  hostlers,  herdsmen,  elephant-drivers,  and  stablemen, 
ministers  of  state,  judges,  treasurers,  secretaries,  swarmed  about  the 
great  halls  and  myriad  chambers  of  the  palaces  at  Agra,  Delhi,  and 
Fatehpur-Sikri.  These,  with  the  tradespeople  who  made  their  living 
by  supplying  the  household  but  who  were  less  directly  attached  to 
the  emperor,  constituted  a  migratory  city  of  large  size,  which  followed 
the  emperor  from  residence  to  residence  and  in  time  of  campaign 
swelled  almost  unbelievably  the  following  of  his  enormous  army. 

As  for  the  court  life  which  went  on  at  the  center  of  this  vast  and 
multi-colored  setting,  this  was  necessarily  twofold,  by  that  custom 
of  all  Moslem  lands  according  to  which  the  sexes  must  be  segregated. 
Daily  assemblages,  gatherings  at   the   mosques  on  Fridays,   great 


ceremonies  for  special  occasions,  and  the  imperial  hunts  contained 
none  but  men  as  participants.  If  women  saw  any  part  of  such  festiv- 
ities, it  was  from  a  distance  and  through  thick  veils  or  close-wrought 
lattices.  Khondamir  says  that  Humayun  divided  his  attendants  into 
three  great  classes,  concerned  respectively  with  government  and  war, 
with  learning  and  literature,  and  with  music  and  personal  grace  and 
beauty.  The  latter  were  called  "  people  of  pleasure  .  .  .  because 
most  people  take  great  delight  in  the  company  of  such  young-looking 
men,  of  rosy  cheeks  and  sweet  voices,  and  are  pleased  by  hearing  their 
songs,  and  the  pleasing  sound  of  the  musical  instruments,  such  as  the 
harp,  the  sackbut,  and  the  lute."  Humayun  devoted  Sundays  and 
Tuesdays  to  dealings  with  the  first  class,  holding  audience  and  attend- 
ing to  government  duties  on  those  days.  Saturdays  and  Thursdays 
were  days  when  "  the  tree  of  the  hope  "  of  literary  and  religious 
persons  "  produced  the  fruit  of  prosperity  by  their  obtaining  audience 
in  the  paradise-resembling  court."  Mondays  and  Wednesdays  were 
devoted  to  pleasure  parties,  when  old  companions  and  chosen  friends 
were  entertained  by  musicians  and  singers.  On  Fridays  w^ere  con- 
vened "  all  the  assemblies,"  whatever  this  may  mean;  and  the  em- 
peror sat  with  them  as  long  as  he  could. 

The  splendor  of  the  court  may  be  illustrated  by  two  or  three 
extracts.  Nizam-uddin  Ahmad  relates  that  Akbar,  journeying  in 
the  fifteenth  year  of  his  reign,  accepted  an  invitation  to  rest  at  Dipal- 
pur,  "  For  some  days  feasting  went  on,  and  upon  the  last  day  splendid 
offerings  were  presented  to  him.  Arab  and  Persian  horses,  w^ith 
saddles  of  silver;  huge  elephants,  with  chains  of  gold  and  silver,  and 
housings  of  velvet  and  brocade;  and  gold  and  silver,  and  pearls 
and  jewels,  and  rubies  and  garnets  of  great  price;  chairs  of  gold,  and 
silver  vases,  and  vessels  of  gold  and  silver;  stuffs  of  Europe,  Turkey, 
and  China,  and  other  precious  things  beyond  all  conception.  Presents 
of  similar  kind  also  were  presented  for  the  young  princes  and  the 
emperor's  wives.  All  the  ministers  and  attendants  and  dignitaries 
received  presents,  and  every  soldier  of  the  army  also  participated  in 
the  bounty." 

Sir  Thomas  Roe  describes  a  curious  annual  ceremony  of  the  Mogul 
emperors  as  carried  through  by  Jehangir.  "  The  first  of  September 
was  the  King's  Birth-day,  and  the  solemnitie  of  his  weighing,  to  which 
I  went,  and  was  carryed  into  a  very  large  and  beautiful  Garden,  the 
square  within  all  water,  on  the  sides  flowers  and  trees,  in  the  midst  a 
Pinacle,  where  was  prepared  the  scales,  being  hung  in  large  tressels, 


and  a  crosse  beame  plated  on  with  Gold  thinne:  the  scales  of  massie 
Gold,  the  borders  set  with  small  stones,  Rubies  and  Turkeys,  the 
Chaines  of  Gold  large  and  massie,  but  strengthened  with  silke  Cords. 
Here  attended  the  Nobilitie,  all  sitting  about  it  on  Carpets  until  the 
King  came;  who  at  last  appeared  clothed  or  rather  loden  with  Dia- 
monds, Rubies,  Pearles,  and  other  precious  vanities,  so  great,  so 
glorious;  his  Sword,  Target,  Throne  to  rest  on,  correspondent;  his 
head,  nccke,  breast,  armes,  above  the  elbows,  at  the  wrists,  his  fingers 
every  one,  with  at  least  two  or  three  Rings;  fettered  with  chaines, 
or  dyalled  Diamonds;  Rubies  as  great  as  Wal-nuts,  some  greater; 
and  Pearles  such  as  mine  eyes  were  amazed  at.  Suddenly  he  entered 
into  the  scales,  sate  like  a  woman  on  his  legges,  and  there  was  put  in 
against  him  many  bagges  to  fit  his  weight,  which  were  changed  six 
times,  and  they  say  was  silver,  and  that  I  understood  his  weight  to 
be  nine  thousand  rupias,  which  are  almost  one  thousand  pounds 
sterling:  after  with  Gold  and  Jewels,  and  precious  stones,  but  I  saw 
none,  it  being  in  bagges  might  be  Pibles;  then  against  Cloth  of  Gold, 
Silk,  Stuffes,  Linen,  Spices,  and  all  sorts  of  goods,  but  I  must  believe 
for  they  were  in  sardles.  Lastly  against  Meale,  Butter,  Come,  which 
is  said  to  be  given  to  the  Banian."  The  extract  neglects  to  state 
that  the  ceremony  was  followed  by  the  distribution  as  largesse  of  all 
the  valuables  weighed  against  the  royal  person  with  its  heavy  adorn- 

Bernier  describes  an  audience  of  Aurangzeb.  *'  The  king  appeared 
seated  upon  his  throne  at  the  end  of  the  great  hall  in  the  most  magnif- 
icent attire.  His  vest  was  of  white  and  delicately  flowered  satin, 
with  a  silk  and  gold  embroidery  of  the  finest  texture.  The  turban 
of  gold  cloth  had  an  aigrette  whose  base  was  composed  of  diamonds 
of  an  extraordinary  size  and  value,  besides  an  oriental  topaz  which 
may  be  pronounced  unparalleled,  exhibiting  a  lustre  like  the  sun.  A 
necklace  of  immense  pearls  suspended  from  his  neck  reached  to  the 
stomach.  The  throne  was  supported  by  six  massy  feet,  said  to  be  of 
solid  gold,  sprinkled  over  with  rubies,  emeralds,  and  diamonds.  It 
was  constructed  by  Shah-Jehan  for  the  purjiose  of  displaying  the 
immense  quantity  of  precious  stones  accumulated  successively  in  the 
Treasury  from  the  spoils  of  ancient  Rajahs  and  Pathans,  and  the  annual 
presents  to  the  monarch  which  every  Omrah  is  bound  to  make  on 
certain  festivals.  At  the  foot  of  the  throne  were  assembled  all  the 
Omrahs,  in  splendid  apparel,  upon  a  platform  surrounded  by  a  silver 
railing  and  covered  by  a  spacious  canopy  of  brocade  with  deep  fringes 


of  gold.  The  pillars  of  the  hall  were  hung  with  brocades  of  a  gold 
ground,  and  flowered  satin  canopies  were  raised  over  the  whole  expanse 
of  the  extensive  apartment,  fastened  with  red  silken  cords  from  which 
were  suspended  large  tassels  of  silk  and  gold.  The  floor  was  covered 
entirely  with  carpets  of  the  richest  silk,  of  immense  length  and 

As  regards  the  female  side  of  the  court,  although  this  had  almost 
a  separate  organization  and  was,  in  keeping  with  Moslem  and  Indian 
tradition,  to  a  large  extent  secluded,  yet  the  imperial  ladies  possessed 
a  measure  of  freedom  through  two  centuries  which  allowed  several 
of  them  to  stand  forth  as  distinct  individuals,  and  a  few  to  influence 
affairs  profoundly.  Jehangir  assigned  to  the  women  of  the  household 
the  sixth  and  fifth  orders,  or  arrows,  of  rank.  Akbar  is  said  to  have 
kept  five  thousand  women  in  his  harem.  As  usual,  however,  only  a 
few  of  these  were  wives  or  votaries  of  the  imperial  pleasure;  most  of 
them  constituted  an  elaborate  organization  for  the  housekeeping  and 
entertainment  of  the  few  great  ladies,  the  mother,  aunts,  sisters,  wives, 
and  favorites  of  the  emperor.  As  already  indicated,  these  women 
were  of  all  kinds,  —  free-born  and  slave,  Moslem,  Christian,  and  pagan, 
Turki,  Afghan,  Persian,  Hindu,  Armenian,  Slavic,  Circassian,  Georg- 
ian, and  Ethiopian.  Their  communication  with  the  outside  world 
was  kept  up  through  their  relatives  and  through  eunuchs. 

A  few  of  the  imperial  ladies  may  be  mentioned.  The  princess 
Gul-Badan,  third  daughter  of  Baber  and  Dil-Dar,  wrote  a  history  of 
the  deeds  of  her  half-brother,  Humayun.  In  her  later  life  she  went 
with  other  great  ladies  on  pilgrimage  to  Mecca,  taking  seven  years 
for  the  journey;  one-half  of  this  time  she  spent  in  Arabia,  where 
she  performed  the  rites  of  the  pilgrimage  four  times.  After  twenty 
more  years  filled  with  works  of  piety  and  charity  she  died  at  the  age 
of  eighty.  Her  nephew,  Akbar,  with  his  own  hand  helped  bear  her 
to  the  tomb. 

Most  powerful  of  all  the  Mogul  imperial  ladies  was  the  Persian 
Nur-Jehan,  or  Nur-Mahal,  wife  of  Jehangir.  Born  in  poverty  and 
actually  cast  away  by  her  parents,  she  rose  to  the  throne  of  command. 
Mohammad  Hadi  says  that  "  by  degrees  she  became,  in  all  but  name, 
undisputed  sovereign  of  the  empire,  and  the  king  himself  became  a 
tool  in  her  hands.  He  used  to  say  that  Nur-Jehan  Begam  has  been 
selected,  and  is  wise  enough,  to  conduct  the  matters  of  state,  and  that 
he  wanted  only  a  bottle  of  wine  and  a  piece  of  meat  to  keep  himself 
merry.    Nur-Jehan  won  golden  opinions  from  all  people.     She  was 


liberal  and  just  to  all  who  begged  her  support.  She  was  an  asylum 
for  all  sufferers,  and  helpless  girls  were  married  at  the  expense  of  her 
private  purse.  She  must  have  portioned  above  five  hundred  girls 
in  her  lifetime,  and  thousands  were  grateful  for  her  generosity." 
Not  only  could  she  rule  the  empire  effectively,  if  not  always  wisely 
and  impartially,  but  she  could  lead  armies.  Defeated  at  last  by 
Shah-Jehan,  she  put  on  perpetual  robes  of  mourning  for  her  dead 
husband  and  spent  her  last  eighteen  years  in  devoted  seclusion. 

Mumtaz-Mahal,  niece  of  Nur-Jchan  and  wife  of  Shah-Jehan,  did  not 
aspire  to  political  control.  She  held  fast  the  heart  of  her  imperial 
husband  and  became  the  mother  of  his  fourteen  children.  The 
incomparable  Taj  Mahal,  built  by  the  emperor  after  her  untimely 
death,  bears  eternal  witness  to  great  love  followed  by  great  grief. 

Last  may  be  mentioned  two  of  the  daughters  of  Mumtaz-Mahal, 
Jehan-Ara  and  Raushan-Ara.  These  ladies,  like  Charlemagne's 
daughters  too  great  for  matrimony,  stirred  up  much  trouble  in  the 
imperial  household.  Jehan-Ara  was  her  father's  favorite  in  his 
decadent  old  age,  and  an  active  partisan  of  her  brother  Dara.  Of 
vast  influence  for  many  years,  she  was  at  length  overshadowed  by 
Raushan-Ara,  who  supported  Aurangzeb  and  rose  to  greatness  with 
his  advancing  fortunes.  Bernier  was  well-nigh  overcome  by  a  distant 
view  of  this  lady's  majesty.  "  I  cannot  avoid  dwelling  on  this  pom- 
pous procession  of  the  Seraglio.  Stretch  imagination  to  its  utmost 
limits,  and  you  can  imagine  no  exhibition  more  grand  and  imposing 
than  when  Raushan-Ara  Begam,  mounted  on  a  stupendous  Pegu 
elephant,  and  seated  in  a  megMambhar  blazing  with  gold  and  azure, 
is  followed  by  five  or  six  elephants  with  meghdambhars  nearly  as  re- 
splendent as  her  own,  and  filled  with  ladies  attached  to  her  household 
(and  succeeded  by  the  most  distinguished  ladies  of  the  court)  until 
fifteen  or  sixteen  females  of  quality  pass  with  a  grandeur  of  appear- 
ance, equipage,  and  retinue,  more  or  less  proportionate  to  their  rank, 
pay,  and  office.  There  is  sometliing  very  impressive  of  state  and 
royalty  in  the  march  of  these  sixty  or  more  elephants;  in  their  solemn 
and  as  it  were  measured  steps,  in  the  splendour  of  the  megMaynbhars, 
and  the  brilliant  and  innumerable  followers  in  attendance;  and  if  I 
had  not  regarded  this  display  of  magnificance  with  a  sort  of  philosoph- 
ical indifference,  I  should  have  been  apt  to  be  carried  away  by  such 
flights  of  imagination  as  inspire  most  of  the  Indian  poets,  when  they 
represent  the  elephants  as  conveying  so  many  goddesses  concealed 
from  the  vulgar  gaze." 

292  .        APPENDIX 

The  Government  Proper 

"  The  authority  of  the  Great  Mogul  was  despotic  by  all  its  origins: 
by  the  fact  of  the  conquest,  by  the  Turkish  tradition,  by  the  tradition 
of  the  old  royalties  of  the  country  ";  1  and  also,  it  may  be  added,  by 
the  practice  of  Islamic  governments  since  the  abandonment  of  Medina 
as  the  seat  of  the  caliphs.  The  conquering  chief  owned  all  the  con- 
quered land,  and  the  wealth  and  labor  and  hves  of  its  inhabitants 
were  at  his  disposal.  As  for  the  restriction  of  despotism  by  the 
Sacred  Law,  the  house  of  Baber  did  not  feel  this  strongly  until  late. 
On  the  other  hand,  even  a  drunkard  like  Jehangir  had  a  keen  sense 
of  the  responsibility  of  his  high  position.  The  emperor  considered 
it  his  duty  to  maintain  order,  reward  faithful  service,  and  sit  daily 
on  the  bench  of  justice  to  redress  the  wrongs  of  his  people.  Aurang- 
zeb  is  reported  by  Bemier  to  have  expressed  his  feeling  of  responsi- 
bihty  by  saying:  "  Being  born  the  son  of  a  king  and  placed  on  the 
throne,  I  was  sent  into  the  world  by  Providence  to  live  and  labour, 
not  for  myself,  but  for  others;  .  ..  it  is  my  duty  not  to  think  of  my 
own  happiness,  except  so  far  as  it  is  inseparably  connected  with  the 
happiness  of  my  people.  It  is  the  repose  and  prosperity  of  my  sub- 
jects that  it  behoves  me  to  consult;  nor  are  these  to  be  sacrificed  to 
anything  besides  the  demands  of  justice,  the  maintenance  of  the 
royal  authority,  and  the  security  of  the  State."  One  of  his  letters 
to  his  imprisoned  father  contains  these  words:  "  Almighty  God 
bestows  his  trusts  upon  him  who  discharges  the  duty  of  cherishing 
his  subjects  and  protecting  the  people.  It  is  manifest  and  clear  to 
the  wise  that  a  wolf  is  no  fit  shepherd,  neither  can  a  faint-hearted 
man  carry  out  the  great  duty  of  government.  Sovereignty  is  the 
guardianship  of  the  people,  not  self-indulgence  and  profligacy.  The 
Almighty  will  deliver  your  humble  servant  from  all  feeling  of  remorse 
as  regards  your  Majesty."  The  sole  fountain  of  legislation,  the 
emperor  observed  economy  in  the  issuance  of  it,  making  use,  so  far 
as  possible,  of  established  Islamic  practice  and  immemorial  custom. 
Yet  from  time  to  time,  by  administrative  regulations,  ordinances, 
and  decrees,  he  sought  to  improve  the  methods  of  government. 
Aurangzeb,  so  much  like  Suleiman  in  many  other  respects,  like  him 
also  ordered  and  financed  the  compilation  of  a  code  of  the  Sacred  Law. 
It  does  not  appear,  however,  that  any  such  quantity  of  personal 

1  Lavisse  and  Rambaud,  Hisloire  Generale,  vl.  879. 


legislation  was  issued  by  him  or  by  any  other  Mogul  emperor  as  by 
the  great  Ottoman. 

The  succession  to  the  Mogul  throne  never  became  regular,  since 
neither  by  Mongol  nor  by  Moslem  custom  was  any  one  method 
prescribed.  Nor  did  the  more  kindly  disposition  of  the  house  of 
Baber  ever  permit  the  publication  of  such  a  decree  as  that  of  Mo- 
hammed II  for  the  execution  of  brothers  upon  the  accession  of  a 
sovereign.  Accordingly  the  resources  of  the  empire  were  apt  to  be 
wasted  in  civil  wars  between  father  and  son,  and  between  older  and 
younger  brothers.  Even  the  sons  of  Baber  engaged  in  civil  war: 
Kamran,  aided  by  Askari  and  Hindal,  fought  against  Humayun. 
Akbar's  brothers  were  so  young  that  he  had  no  rival  at  the  time  of 
his  accession.  His  two  elder  sons  drank  themselves  to  death;  but 
this  did  not  prevent  Selim,  who  became  the  emperor  Jehangir,  from 
rebelling  against  his  father  and  hastening  the  latter's  death.  Jehan- 
gir's  two  sons  rebelled  against  him  in  turn.  Shah-Jehan's  four  sons, 
Dara,  Shuja,  Murad,  and  Aurangzeb,  fought  together  until  the  last 
encompassed  the  death  of  the  others,  besides  keeping  his  father  a 
prisoner  during  the  last  seven  years  of  life.  The  mournful  story  need 
not  be  carried  beyond  the  fierce  civil  war  which  followed  the  death 
of  Aurangzeb,  in  which  two  of  his  sons  were  slain.  Clearly,  the 
Ottoman  method  was  more  practical  if  less  humane.  So  unstable 
was  the  personal  situation  of  the  emperor  that,  if  he  failed  to  show 
his  face  in  public  daily,  the  empire  fell  into  commotion  and  civil  war 
became  imminent.  From  the  uncertainty  of  the  succession  the  state, 
at  least,  derived  this  benefit,  that  the  fittest  of  the  candidates  for 
power  was  likely  to  obtain  the  throne.  Nevertheless,  as  Dow  says, 
"  to  be  born  a  prince  "  of  the  Mogul  Empire  was  "  a  misfortune  of  the 
worst  and  most  embarrassing  kind.  He  must  die  by  clemency,  or 
wade  through  the  blood  of  his  family  to  safety  and  empire." 

As  the  army  was  the  defence  and  prop  of  the  Mogul  government, 
so  finance  was  its  sustenance.  Here  again  the  regulations  of  the 
Sacred  Law  were  but  scantily  observed.  Akbar,  aided  by  Todar 
Mai  and  extending  the  methods  of  the  Afghan  Sher  Shah,  reduced 
to  order  and  regularity  the  existing  revenue  system,  which  in  the 
course  of  centuries  of  varj'ing  rule  had  become  much  confused.  By 
ancient  custom  of  India,  the  sovereign  as  primary  owner  of  the  land 
was  entitled  to  one-third  of  the  crops  in  kind.  It  was  Akbar's  task 
to  change  the  system  to  a  more  modern  money  regime,  a  step  in 
progress  which  the  Ottomans  have  not  been  able  to  take  even  to  the 


present  day.  In  classical  times  as  in  late  years,  India,  importing  less 
of  other  commodities  than  she  exported,  steadily  absorbed  gold  and 
silver.  It  is  likely  that  a  large  share  of  the  wealth  of  the  newly- 
discovered  Americas  had  already  by  Akbar's  day  made  its  way  to  India 
through  the  increasing  Portuguese  trade,  and  that  Columbus,  Cortes, 
and  Pizarro  thus  unwittingly  gave  him  the  means  of  modernizing  his 
land  revenue.  Several  great  tasks  were  involved  in  the  change.  All 
the  cultivated  land  of  India  had  to  be  measured,  its  quality  judged,  its 
average  annual  produce  for  the  first  nineteen  years  of  Akbar's  reign 
calculated,  and  the  amount  of  the  government's  share  for  each  tract 
reduced  to  current  money.  At  first,  it  was  attempted  to  renew  the 
settlement  annually;  but,  since  this  proved  very  difficult  in  a  large 
and  conservative  land,  a  ten-year  basis  was  eventually  adopted. 
When  the  British  came  to  power  they  found  the  revenue  in  a  state 
of  confusion  which  indicated  that  at  some  time  during  the  Mogul 
period  the  evaluation  had  ceased  to  be  made  regularly,  modifications 
of  the  last  assessment  having  then  been  introduced  successively, 
until  all  system  had  disappeared. 

The  imperial  revenue  was  collected  by  a  separate  hierarchy  of 
ofl&cials.  The  great  provinces  were  divided  into  districts,  or  sirkars, 
in  each  of  which  a  Diwan  was  chief  financial  agent.  His  office  was 
the  Defter  ali,  and  his  clerks  were  Mutasidis.  In  lesser  districts  the 
collectors  were  Amils  or  Karoris,  the  treasurers  Fotadars.  Karkums 
were  appointed  to  settle  disputes  and  audit  accounts.  The  crown 
revenue  might  be  farmed  out,  in  areas  of  a  size  comparable  to  the 
jagirs,  to  officials  known  as  Zamindars  or  Talukdars,  who  in  the  days 
of  decline  strove  to  make  their  position  hereditary.  In  the  local  unit, 
or  pargana,  the  government  was  represented  by  a  Kanungo,  who  kept 
the  records  of  assessments  and  payments.  Akbar  took  measures 
also  to  bring  under  cultivation  waste  and  abandoned  lands,  and 
appointed  for  this  purpose  Karoris,  whose  efforts  were  attended  with 
much  success.  In  the  best  days  the  imperial  financial  officers  acted 
as  a  check  upon  the  civil  and  miHtary  officials,  upholding  ahke  the 
interests  of  emperor  and  common  people.  Evidence  exists,  however, 
that  even  in  the  time  of  Akbar  there  was  financial  corruption,  and 
that  revenue  officials  were  not  lacking  who  plundered  the  people  and 
defrauded  the  emperor. 

The  granting  oi  jagirs  to  officers  and  Rajahs,  of  pensions  to  learned 
men  and  others,  and  of  land  in  full  title,  free  from  revenue,  for  relig- 
ious foundations  seems  to  have  diverted  from   the  royal  treasury 


about  two-thirds  of  the  possible  land  revenue.  On  the  other  hand, 
it  has  been  estimated  that  the  emperor  received  from  customs,  tolls, 
miscellaneous  taxes,  and  presents  an  amount  equal  to  what  he  got 
from  the  land.  Careful  calculations  have  resulted  in  ascribing  to 
Akbar  a  revenue  of  over  two  hundred  million  dollars  annually,  and 
to  Aurangzeb  as  much  as  four  hundred  and  fifty  million  dollars. 
Suleiman's  revenue  would  then  have  been  not  the  tenth  part  of 
Akbar's  and  Louis  XIV's  not  the  tenth  part  of  Aurangzeb's, 

This  revenue  was  expended  upon  the  standing  army,  the  court, 
the  support  of  learned  and  religious  persons,  a  series  of  building 
operations  which  were  perhaps  costly  beyond  parallel,  bountiful  gifts 
at  certain  seasons,  and  regular  charities.  It  would  appear,  farther, 
that  the  expenses  of  the  provincial  governments  were  deducted  from 
the  imperial  land  revenue  after  it  had  been  estimated  but  before  it 
was  paid  into  the  treasury.  In  spite  of  the  lavish  outflow,  however, 
an  enormous  treasure  seems  to  have  been  accumulated.  By  Man- 
delslo  it  was  estimated  in  1638  at  the  incredible  sum  of  one  and  a 
half  billion  crowns,  equivalent  to  about  the  same  number  of  dollars! 

It  was  probably  because  of  the  greatly  increased  revenue  which 
Akbar  obtained  by  his  new  method  that  he  found  it  possible  to  remit 
the  jizyeh  or  capitation  tax  on  non-Moslems,  and  also  the  tax  on  pil- 
grims, which  had  made  the  earlier  Moslem  rule  obnoxious  to  the  Hindu 
population.  On  the  other  hand,  it  may  have  been  not  merely  religious 
zeal,  but  also  financial  stress  caused  by  the  civil  wars  preceding  his 
accession,  by  the  Rajput  revolt,  by  the  long  struggle  in  the  Deccan, 
and  by  the  pious  remission  of  many  taxes  not  authorized  by  the 
Sacred  Law,  including  the  tax  on  Hindu  temple  lands,  that  influenced 
Aurangzeb  to  reimpose  the  capitation  tax,  and  thus  open  wide  the 
rifts  in  his  disintegrating  empire. 

In  the  days  of  its  greatness,  the  budget  of  the  Mogul  Empire,  alike 
in  income  and  expenditure,  reached  a  height  which  had  rarely  if  ever 
been  attained  before.  That  of  the  East  Roman  Empire  under  the 
Macedonian  dynasty,  and  of  the  Saracen  Empire  in  the  days  of 
Harun  Al-Rashid,  may  have  rivalled  it;  but  it  is  probable  that  only 
the  great  Western  powers,  enriched  by  the  industrial  revolution  in 
the  late  nineteenth  and  early  twentieth  centuries,  have  ever  reached 
a  financial  magnitude  beyond  that  of  the  empire  of  Aurangzeb. 

Humayun  divided  the  responsibilities  of  government  among  four 
ministers,  and  a  fourfold  division  persisted  at  least  as  late  as  Aurang- 
zeb.    By  a  curious  form  of  logic  the  ckissification  of  duties  and  the 


names  of  the  four  departments  were  based,  not  on  convenience,  but 
on  relation  to  the  four  elements:  earth,  air,  fire,  and  water.  The 
Khaki  department  had  the  care  of  agriculture,  buildings,  and  domain 
lands;  the  Hawai,  of  the  wardrobe,  the  kitchen,  the  stables,  and  the 
like;  the  Ateshi,  of  the  artillery  and  the  making  of  war  material  and 
other  things  in  which  fire  was  employed;  and  the  Abi,  of  the  emperor's 
drinks,  and  canals,  rivers,  and  water-works.  When  Khondamir 
wrote,  about  1534,  one  man  had  oversight  of  all  four  departments; 
but  the  development  of  a  regular  supreme  official  of  great  power,  like 
the  grand  vizier  of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  seems  never  to  have  taken 
place,  no  doubt  because  the  imperial  house  did  not  abandon  the 
tradition  of  personal  government. 

Humayun  set  aside  two  days  of  the  week  for  business  of  state. 
Drums  were  beaten  to  summon  ofl&cials  and  give  notice  that  the  hall 
of  audience  was  open.  Any  subject  might  appear  and  ask  for  justice. 
Suits  of  fine  apparel  and  purses  of  money  were  at  hand  to  reward 
the  worthy,  and  executioners  stood  by  with  drawn  swords  to  punish 
the  guilty.  Guns  were  fired  at  the  close  of  the  audience  to  notify 
officials  that  they  might  retire.  Aurangzeb  held  general  court  in  the 
great  hall  of  audience  for  two  hours  on  regular  days.  Persons  who 
had  petitions  to  present  held  them  up,  and  these  were  taken  by  the 
emperor,  read  by  him,  and  often  granted  on  the  spot.  On  at  least 
one  day  in  the  week  he  sat  with  the  two  Kazis  of  the  city,  and  on 
another  day  he  heard  privately  ten  cases  of  persons  of  low  rank.  In 
the  evening  the  chief  ofiicers  were  commanded  to  be  present  in  a  smaller 
hall,  where  Aurangzeb  sat  to  "  grant  private  audiences  to  his  officers, 
receive  their  reports,  and  deliberate  on  important  matters  of  state." 
This  gathering  resembled  the  Divan  of  Suleiman,  but  it  lacked  most 
of  the  latter 's  judicial  work;  in  India  such  work  was  done  by  the 
chief  judges  sitting  separately,  or  by  the  emperor  in  the  great  audi- 
ences. Furthermore,  it  was  the  sovereign  and  not  a  grand  vizier 
who  presided  in  this  council.  The  assembly  was  deliberative  in 
matters  of  policy  and  general  administration,  and  judicial  in  that  it 
had  jurisdiction  of  cases  which  involved  ofiicers  of  high  rank. 

For  purposes  of  local  government  the  empire  was  divided  into 
subahs,  or  provinces,  each  under  a  Nawab  (a  plural  of  majesty, 
from  naib,  often  called  "nabob"  by  Westerners),  or  governor. 
Under  Akbar  the  number  of  subahs  varied  from  fifteen  to  eighteen. 
Like  the  Beylerbeys  of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  the  Nawabs  tended  to 
increase  in  number,  the  size  of  their  provinces  diminishing  accordingly. 


The  Nawab  was  almost  a  little  emperor  in  his  province.  He  held 
audiences,  commanded  the  army,  conferred  lesser  titles,  appointed 
and  dismissed  most  officials,  and  was  the  highest  judicial  authority. 
His  power  was  limited,  however,  by  the  emperor's  right  to  recall  him, 
by  the  right  of  apjx'al  in  judicial  cases  from  him  to  the  emperor, 
and  by  the  fact  that  the  financial  and  judicial  officers  were  separately 
appointed  and  were  responsible  only  to  the  throne.  The  Nawab 
and  his  court  were  supported  by  lands  granted  in  jagir.  He  might 
suspend  the  jagirs  of  officers  pending  imperial  decision.  He  was 
responsible  for  the  security  and  order  of  his  province,  and  had  Faujdars 
under  him  in  the  several  districts,  who  exercised  military  command 
and  the  powers  of  chief  of  police  and  police  judge,  their  position 
resembling  somewhat  that  of  the  Sanjak  Beys  of  the  Ottoman  system. 
The  chief  financial  officers  in  each  province  were  the  Diwans,  who, 
as  explained  above,  collected  the  imperial  revenue  and  had  oversight 
of  all  lesser  revenue  officers.  They  and  their  deputies  possessed 
judicial  powers  in  cases  concerning  finance  and  land  titles.  The 
chief  judge  of  the  province,  subject  however  to  appeals  to  the  governor, 
was  the  Nizam.  He  heard  the  serious  criminal  cases,  and  his  deputy, 
the  Daroga  Adaulat  al  Aulea,  attended  to  most  of  the  important  civil 
ones.  Local  Kazis,  aided  by  Muftis,  Mohtesibs,  and  Kuhvals  or 
mayors,  kept  order  in  the  smaller  cities  and  districts.  Rajahs  who 
had  made  terms  with  the  emperor  exercised  powers  very  similar  to 
those  of  the  Nawabs.  Their  positions  were  secured  by  heredity, 
however,  and  in  their  provinces  the  imperial  financial  and  judicial 
officers  had  no  jurisdiction.  They  simply  owed  military  service  and  a 
certain  amount  of  tribute,  failing  in  which  they  might  be  reduced  by 
force  of  arms.  The  Ottoman  system  contained  no  subjects  who  were 
at  once  so  secure  of  their  positions,  so  nearly  independent,  and  so 
powerful  as  the  Rajahs.  Kurdish,  Albanian,  and  Arabian  chieftains 
were  perhaps  as  secure  and  as  independent,  but  they  were  of  very 
small  wealth  and  might;  while  the  Voivodes  of  Wallachia  and  ^lol- 
davia  were  not  so  secure  or  so  independent. 

The  condition  of  the  common  people  under  this  government  is  to  be 
known  mainly  by  inference.  Various  documents  and  acts  show  the 
benevolent  intentions  of  emperors  and  high  officials  toward  the 
masses.  Whether  from  wise  prevision  or  from  genuine  charitable 
feeling,  there  appears  to  have  been  much  solicitude  lest  the  cultivators 
of  the  soil  should  be  reduced  to  utter  penury  or  driven  from  their 
lands.    Akbar,  for  instance,  issued  strict  orders  that  on  military 


expeditions  nothing  should  be  taken  from  the  people  without  careful 
assessment  and  immediate  or  subsequent  payment.  Nevertheless, 
at  the  best  the  result  of  the  general  policy  was  to  leave  the  cultivator 
little  more  than  a  bare  living.  The  whole  system  drained  away  wealth 
to  a  few  great  cities  and  a  comparatively  few  persons.  If  but  few 
complaints  rose  from  the  masses,  it  was  because  their  lot  was  no 
worse  than  that  of  their  forefathers  had  been  for  many  generations. 
Aside  from  the  periods  of  civil  war,  the  Moguls  gave  peace  and  order. 
Akbar  removed  internal  tolls  two  centuries  before  such  a  thing  was 
accomplished  in  France,  and  thus  made  of  the  land  a  single  economic 
unit,  with  the  result  that  in  his  reign  India  as  a  whole  enjoyed 
such  prosperity  as  she  has  known  at  very  few  other  periods  in  her 

Before  the  time  of  Aurangzeb  special  care  was  taken  to  conciliate 
the  Hindus.  Akbar  adopted  definitely  the  policy  of  equal  treatment 
for  all,  a  degree  of  toleration  not  to  be  found  in  the  contemporary 
Europe  of  William  the  Silent  and  Henry  of  Navarre.  The  government 
strove  to  abolish  or  mitigate  such  Hindu  practices  as  were  abhorrent 
to  Mohammedanism,  and  at  least  one  Moslem  practice  which  offended 
the  Hindus.  Child-marriage,  the  ordeal,  and  animal  sacrifice  were 
forbidden.  Widows  were  to  be  burned  on  the  funeral  pyres  of  their 
husbands  only  with  their  own  full  consent,  and  those  who  preferred  to 
live  might  marry  again.  In  the  Rajput  tributary  states  Hindu  law  of 
course  prevailed.  Probably  in  the  regions  under  direct  Mogul  rule 
Hindus  were  judged  by  their  own  law  when  Moslems  were  not  con- 
cerned and  perhaps  even  by  their  own  judges.  It  is  true  that  the 
Hindus  had  to  wait  until  Akbar  came  to  be  released  from  the  personal 
disabilities  imposed  by  earlier  Moslem  conquerors,  that  their  temple 
lands  were  taxed  until  the  time  of  Aurangzeb,  and  that  Brahmans, 
pundits,  and  fakirs  were  perhaps  only  in  Akbar's  presence  treated  with 
respect  equal  to  that  accorded  Sheiks,  Seids,  and  Ulema.  But  the 
emperors  and  their  officers  gave  like  justice  to  all;  they  permitted 
every  man  to  worship  according  to  the  rites  of  his  forefathers,  and 
apparently  never  had  a  thought,  as  had  Selim  the  Cruel,  of  giving  to 
all  non-Moslem  subjects  the  choice  between  Islam  and  death.  There 
was  little  ground  for  discontent  until  Aurangzeb  began  to  apply  a 
harsher  policy. 


The  Moslems  and  the  Moslem  Church 

In  comparison  with  conditions  in  the  Ottoman  Empire,  Moslems 
and  non-Moslems  in  the  India  of  the  early  Moguls  were  far  more 
nearly  on  a  level.  This  was  due  not  merely  to  the  toleration  and 
indifference  of  the  emperors,  but  even  more  to  the  circumstances  of 
the  conquest,  under  which  both  groups  were  treated  alike,  since  Baber 
at  Panipat  in  1526  subdued  the  Moslem  Lodi  Sultans  of  Delhi,  and  at 
Kanwaha  in  1527  the  Hindu  Rajj)ut  confederacy.  Indian-born 
worshippers  of  Allah  and  of  Brahma,  Vishnu,  and  Siva  were  mingled 
in  the  same  vast  mass  of  conquered  subjects,  equally  separated  from 
the  victorious  invaders.  There  was  also,  in  all  probability,  a  much 
greater  diflerence  of  race  between  Baber's  highlanders  and  the  Mos- 
lems that  he  found  in  India  than  between  the  latter  and  the  Hindus; 
for  many  inter-marriages  had  taken  place,  and  many  natives  of  India 
had  joined  the  followers  of  the  Prophet.  Time,  of  course,  diminished 
this  distinction. 

Suleiman  was  distinctly  the  head  of  the  Moslems  of  his  empire. 
Through  his  appointee  the  Sheik-ul-Islam,  through  his  Hoja,  the 
Kaziaskers,  the  Nakib-ol-Eshraf,  and  other  learned  and  saintly  per- 
sonages, he  kept  in  close  touch  with  the  religious  chiefs  of  the  Moham- 
medan population.  All  who  prayed  toward  Mecca,  at  least  from  the 
older  portions  of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  were  attached  by  many  ancient 
ties  to  the  house  of  Osman.  Their  ancestors  had  perhaps  been  con- 
verts through  its  activities,  had  certainly  fought  for  it,  and  had  seen 
its  gradual  and  vigorous  rise  to  greatness.  No  such  vital  bonds  joined 
to  the  Moguls  the  great  mass  of  their  Moslem  subjects.  These 
remembered  the  glories  and  fa\'ors  of  lost  d\Tiasties,  and  were  indebted 
to  the  new  sovereigns  only  for  defeats  and  humiliations  which  depressed 
them  toward  the  level  of  the  Hindus,  whom  they  had  for  centuries 
held  to  be  far  inferior  to  themselves.  They  had  no  Shcik-ul-lslam, 
honored  by  the  sovereign  with  a  seat  above  his  own,  whose  decisions 
might  determine  the  fate  of  the  ruler  or  of  the  empire.  Almost  as 
much  to  them  as  to  the  Hindus  the  emperor  was  a  stranger  and  a 
foreigner,  to  whom  should  be  rendered,  because  of  his  power,  full 
submission  and  instant  obedience,  but  not  loyal  affection  and  whole- 
hearted devotion.  There  was  ever  an  absence  of  solidarity  between 
the  house  of  Tlmur  and  those  Moslem  subjects  who  had  not  come 
into  India  in  the  service  of  that  house,  and  this  was  not  least  among 
the  elements  of  weakness  that  shortened  the  life  of  the  empire.     When 


Rajputs  had  been  stirred  to  revolt,  when  Mahrattas  had  gro\Mi 
great,  when  bronzed  and  capable  Moguls  had  been  supplanted  by 
"  pale  persons  in  petticoats,"  who  were  left  to  rally  about  the  tottering 
throne  ?  More  than  two  and  a  half  centuries  have  elapsed  since  the 
Ottomans  ceased  to  draw  systematically  from  the  strength  of  the 
Christian  population,  and  yet  the  fighting  stock  of  their  Moslem 
subjects  has  never  failed  or  grown  weak  or  faltered  in  its  loyalty; 
but  Aurangzeb's  successors  found  few  upon  whom  to  rely,  and  of  this 
few  a  very  small  proportion  who  would  sacrifice  their  own  fortunes 
freely,  who  would  be  faithful  unto  death. 

The  Moguls  found  in  India  Sheiks,  Dervishes,  Seids,  and  Ulema, 
mosques,  schools,  and  pious  foundations  in  abundance.  In  fact, 
the  developed  system  of  Mohammedanism  had  extended  itself  over 
India  with  visible  results  very  much  like  those  in  all  other  Moslem 
lands,  among  them  the  Ottoman  Empire.  From  the  ranks  of  those 
educated  in  Moslem  lore  were  taken  teachers,  judges,  and  counselors- 

There  must  have  existed  for  the  children  of  the  Moslem  population 
mektebs,  ordinary  medressehs,  and  law  schools,  in  which  the  Arabic 
language  and  the  sciences  built  upon  the  Koran,  as  well  as  the  Persian 
language  and  literature  were  taught.  No  doubt,  also,  the  imperial 
household  contained  systems  of  education,  arranged  for  the  two  sexes 
separately  and  prepared  to  train  imperial  and  noble  children  and 
young  attendants,  servants,  and  slaves  in  the  knowledge  which  was 
thought  best  adapted  to  fit  them  for  life.  It  is  interesting  to  notice 
what  impression  the  teaching  regularly  given  to  a  young  prince  made 
(if  Bernier  can  be  trusted)  upon  the  keen  intellect  of  Aurangzeb. 
When  the  latter  became  emperor,  his  old  teacher,  it  appears,  con- 
fidently presented  himself  at  Delhi  for  reward.  What,  then,  must 
have  been  his  surprise  to  receive  such  a  deliverance  as  this  from  the 
lips  of  majesty! 

"  Was  it  not  incumbent  upon  my  preceptor  to  make  me  acquainted 
with  the  distinguishing  features  of  every  nation  of  the  earth;  its 
resources  and  strength;  its  mode  of  warfare,  its  manners,  religion, 
form  of  government,  and  wherein  its  interests  principally  consist, 
and,  by  a  regular  course  of  historical  reading,  to  render  me  familiar 
with  the  origin  of  States;  their  progress  and  decline;  the  events, 
accidents,  or  errors,  owing  to  which  such  great  changes  and  mighty 
revolutions  have  been  effected  ?  .  .  .  A  familiarity  with  the  language 
of  surrounding  nations  may  be  indispensable  in  a  king;  but  you  would 


teach  me  to  read  and  write  Arabic;  doubtless  conceiving  that  you 
placed  me  under  an  everlasting  obligation  for  sacrificing  so  large  a 
portion  of  time  to  the  study  of  a  language  wherein  no  one  can  hope  to 
become  proficient  without  ten  or  twelve  years  of  close  application. 
Forgetting  how  many  important  subjects  ought  to  be  embraced  in  the 
education  of  a  prince,  you  acted  as  if  it  were  chiefly  necessary  that  he 
should  possess  great  skill  in  grammar,  and  such  knowledge  as  belongs 
to  a  Doctor  of  Law;  and  thus  did  you  waste  the  precious  hours  of  my 
youth  in  the  dry,  unprofitable,  and  never-ending  task  of  learning 
words!  .  .  .  Ought  you  not  to  have  instructed  me  on  one  point  at 
least,  so  essential  to  be  known  by  a  king,  namely,  on  the  reciprocal 
duties  between  the  sovereign  and  his  subjects  ?  Ought  you  not  also 
to  have  foreseen  that  I  might  at  some  future  period  be  compelled 
to  contend  with  my  brothers,  sword  in  hand,  for  the  crown,  and  for 
my  very  existence  ?  Such,  as  you  must  well  know,  has  been  the  fate 
of  the  children  of  almost  every  king  of  Hindustan.  Did  you  ever 
instruct  me  in  the  art  of  war,  how  to  besiege  a  town,  or  draw  up  an 
army  in  battle  array  ?  Happy  for  me  that  I  consulted  wiser  heads 
than  thine  on  these  subjects!  Go!  withdraw  to  thy  village.  Hence- 
forth let  no  person  know  either  who  thou  art  or  what  is  become  of 

In  this  rebuke,  whether  it  comes  chiefly  from  Bernier  or  from 
Aurangzeb,  is  excellent  criticism  upon  the  stereotyped  Moslem  educa- 
tion, and  material  enough  to  cheer  the  hearts  of  modern  advocates 
of  a  closer  relation  between  subjects  of  instruction  and  the  business 
of  life. 

The  lack  of  solidarity  between  the  mass  of  the  Moslems  of  India 
and  the  Mogul  government,  together  with  the  religious  indifference  of 
several  emperors,  prevented  the  Moslem  church  there  from  reaching 
the  full  measure  of  the  dignity,  influence,  and  authority  of  the  Moslem 
Institution  in  the  Ottoman  Empire.  Humayun's  division  of  the 
household  into  three  classes  shows  that  he  gave  highest  rank  not  to 
the  clergy  but  to  princes  of  the  blood,  with  nobles  and  ministers  of 
state  and  military  men.  "  The  holy  persons,  the  great  Muslieiks 
(religious  men),  the  respectable  Seids,  the  literati,  the  law  officers, 
the  scientific  persons,  poets,  besides  other  great  and  respectable  men 
formed  the  second  class."  The  orders,  or  arrows,  of  nobility  show  a 
little  more  definitely  the  place  of  the  Moslem  learned  men,  since  they 
are  assigned  to  the  tenth  order,  after  the  monarch  and  the  princes 
of  the  blood  and  the  Rajahs. 


In  the  palace-city  of  Fatehpur-Sikri,  Akbar  built  a  great  hall,  the 
Ibadat-Khana,  to  which  he  repaired  on  holy  nights  with  Sheiks, 
Seids,  Ulema,  and  nobles.  Finding  that  his  followers  could  not  keep 
the  peace  when  mingled  indiscriminately,  he  assigned  one  of  the  four 
sides  of  the  hall  to  each  group.  Here  he  was  accustomed  to  hsten  to 
theological  discussions;  and  it  appears  that  what  he  heard  tended  to 
destroy  his  respect  for  the  faith  of  the  Prophet,  and  to  predispose  his 
mind  toward  the  eclectic  religion  which  he  instituted  later.  Says 
Badauni:  "The  learned  doctors  used  to  exercise  the  sword  of  their 
tongues  upon  each  other,  and  showed  great  pugnacity  and  animosity, 
till  the  various  sects  took  to  calling  each  other  infidels  and  perverts." 
In  course  of  time  Akbar  obtained  a  document  signed  by  the  principal 
Ulema,  to  the  effect  that  a  just  ruler  is  higher  in  the  eyes  of  God  than 
a  doctor  of  the  law  (Mtijtahid),  that  Akbar  was  a  just  ruler,  and  that 
therefore  his  decrees  in  matters  of  religion  were  binding  upon  the 
world.  This  declaration  placed  Akbar  distinctly  above  the  Moslem 
church  and  at  least  on  a  level  with  the  prophet  Mohammed;  and  he 
seems  even  to  have  played  with  the  idea  that  he  was  himself  God. 
Certainly  he  hoped  to  unify  all  creeds  by  his  "  di\'ine  faith."  His 
son  and  grandson  were  not  much  interested  in  religion,  and  not  at  all 
inclined  to  assume  actively  the  religious  headship  of  the  empire; 
under  them,  the  Moslem  church  had  to  take  care  of  itself.  Religious 
interest  appeared  again  in  Aurangzeb,  not  in  any  spirit  of  free  inquiry, 
but  in  a  rigid  conformity  to  the  rules  of  the  Sacred  Law.  From  those 
youthful  days  when  he  preferred  the  meagre  Hfe  of  a  saint  to  the 
splendors  of  princely  state,  down  to  the  long-deferred  close  of  his 
troubled  career,  Islam  knew  no  more  faithful  observer  of  its  rites  and 
prescriptions.  In  Aurangzeb 's  reign  and  in  his  alone  did  the  Mos- 
lem rehgion  take  such  a  place  in  India  as  in  the  Turkey  of  Suleiman's 

The  learned  Moslems  of  the  Mogul  Empire  never  had  as  the  head 
of  their  hierarchy  a  personage  of  such  dignity  and  power  as  the  Sheik- 
td-Islam  of  Constantinople.  The  Sadr  Jehan  appears  to  have  been 
concerned  chiefly  with  the  granting  of  land  from  the  treasury  to 
learned  and  religious  persons  in  lieu  of  pensions.  The  hierarchy  of 
judges  seems  to  have  been  complete,  at  least  in  territory  that  was 
directly  administered,  with  two  officials  at  court  who  corresponded 
to  the  Kaziaskers  of  Suleiman,  and  with  Kazis  of  high  rank  in  the  chief 
city  of  each  province  and  of  lesser  rank  in  other  cities ;  but  the  func- 
tions of  these  officers  appear  to  have  been  more  closely  restricted 


than  in  the  Ottoman  Empire,  by  reason  of  the  superior  jurisdictions  of 
the  em[)eror  and  the  governors,  and  of  the  criminal  and  financial 
jurisdictions  of  the  Nizams  and  Diwans  and  their  deputies.  As  there 
is  little  mention  of  the  muftis,  it  would  seem  that  their  role  was  not 
very  important. 

The  Moslem  church  in  India  was  not  of  the  very  fabric  of  empire. 
The  imperial  family  and  most  of  their  associates  in  government  ad- 
hered to  it;  but  it  had  no  thorough  control  of  education  and  justice, 
and  no  power  to  sanction  war  or  pronounce  the  deposition  of  an  em- 
peror. It  did  not  curb  the  spirit  of  the  nation  or  lay  a  hea\y  hand 
upon  progress;  but,  as  it  w'as  relatively  unable  to  hinder  by  its  weak- 
nesses, so  it  could  not  contribute  its  abiding  strength.  The  Mogul 
Empire  is  but  a  memory.  The  Moslem  church  of  India  thrives  and 
grows  under  the  rule  of  aliens  of  another  faith. 

Books  Consulted  in  the  Preparation  of  Appendix  IV 

Baden-Powell,  B.  H.  A  short  account  of  the  land  revenue  and  its  ad- 
ministration in  British  India.     2d  edition.     Oxford,  1907. 

Bayley,  Sir  E.  C.  The  local  Muhammadan  dynasties.  Gujarat.  Lon- 
don, 1886.  —  A  sequel  to  Elliot's  History  of  India. 

Bernier,  Francois.  Travels  in  the  Mogul  empire,  a.d.  1656-1663. 
Westminster,  1891.  —  [As  quoted  by  Lane-Poole  and  others.] 

Crichton,  A.  S.  The  Mohammedans  as  rulers  of  India.  In  The  Moslem 
World,  i.  99-116.     London,  191 1. 

Dow,  Alexander.  The  history  of  Hindostan.  3  vols.  London,  1770- 

Elliot,  Sir  H.  IVI.,  and  Dowson,  John.  The  history  of  India,  as  told 
by  its  own  historians.  8  vols.  London,  1867-1877.  —  \'ol.  v  (1873) 
contains  extracts  from  Khondamir,  Badauni,  Nizam  uddin  Ahmad, 

Gul-badan  Begam.  The  history  of  Humayun  (Humayun-nama).  Trans- 
lated by  Annette  S.  Beveridge.     London,  1902. 

Holden,  E.  S.    The  Mogul  emperors  of  Hindustan.    New  York,  1895, 

Hunter,  Sir  W.  W.  A  brief  history  of  the  Indian  peoples.  23d  edition. 
[Oxford,  1903.] 

Irvine,  William.  The  army  of  the  Indian  Moghuls;  its  organization 
and  administration.     London,  1903. 

The  Bangash  Nawabs  of  Farrukhabad.     J.  R.  A.  S.,  Bengal,  1878, 

340  ff. 

Keene,  H.  G.  The  fall  of  the  Moghul  empire  of  Hindustan.  New  edition. 
London,  1887. 

The  Turks  in  India.     London,  1S79. 

Lane-Poole,  Stanley.  Aurangzlb.  (Rulers  of  India  series.)  O.xford, 


Lane-Poole,  Stanley.    Babar.    (Rulers  of  India  series.)     Oxford,  1899. 
Mediasval  India  under  Mohammedan  rule  (a.d.   712-1764).    New 

York,  1903. 
Lyall,  Sir  A.  C.    The  Moghul  empire.     In  Cambridge  Modern  History, 

vi.  506-529.     New  York,  1909. 
Malleson,  G.  B.    Akbar.     (Rulers  of  India  series.)     Oxford,  1908. 
Rambalt),  Alfred.    Organisation  de  I'empire  mongol.     In  Lavisse  and 

Rambaud's  Histoire  Generale,  vi.  878-883.     Paris,  1895. 
Ritchie,  Leitch.    A  history  of  the  oriental  nations.     2  vols.    London, 

Roe,  Sir  Thomas.    Journal  of  his  embassy  to  the  court  of  the  Great  Mogul. 

1615-1619.     In  Hakluyt  Society's  publications,  2d  series,  vols.  i-ii. 

London,  1899.  —  [As  quoted  by  Lane-Poole  and  others.] 



I.  Sources  of  Ottoman  Governmental  Ideas 

Three  traceable  lines  of  influence  can  be  followed  from  the  earliest 
times  until  their  appearance  in  the  Ottoman  government  of  the  six- 
teenth century.  The  oldest  began  in  Egypt,  and  continued  down 
through  various  dynasties  until  the  Roman  conquest,  after  which  it 
began  to  enter  the  Roman  imperial  government.  From  this  it  passed 
to  the  Byzantine  and  thence  to  the  Ottoman  system.  Locally  again 
it  followed  a  more  direct  course  through  the  Fatimides  and  Mame- 
lukes until  the  time  of  Selim  I's  conquest  of  Egypt.  The  slave 
government  of  the  Mamelukes  offers  an  interesting  subject  for  com- 
parison with  the  Ottoman  Ruling  Institution.  It  would  be  super- 
fluous to  give  references  for  this  line  of  development,  except  perhaps  to 
mention  Sir  William  Muir's  book,  The  Mameluke  or  Slave  Dynasty  of 
Egypt  (London,  1896),  and  Stanley  Lane-Poole's  Egypt  in  the  Middle 
Ages  (London,  1901). 

The  second  line,  which  seems  to  have  contributed  a  greater  number 
of  elements,  came  down  in  the  Bagdad-Euphrates  valley  through 
various  governments  to  the  Saracen  and  Seljuk  empires,  from  which 
it  passed  to  the  Ottomans.  Here  again  no  general  references  need  be 
given.  Perhaps  the  most  useful  book  in  connection  with  the  subject 
is  D.  B.  McDonald's  Moslem  Theology,  Jurisprudence,  and  Constitu- 
tional Theory  (New  York,  1903). 

The  third  and  most  direct  line  of  influence  is  through  the  Tatars  of 
the  steppe  lands.  In  A.  H.  Keane's  Man,  Past  and  Present  (Cam- 
bridge, England,  1899)  there  is  a  full  and  clear  discussion  of  the 
anthropological  relationships  of  the  Turks.  E.  H.  Parker's  A  Thou- 
sand Years  of  the  Tartars  (London,  1895)  gives  an  account  which  is 
based  closely  upon  the  Chinese  sources,  but  which  would  be  helped 
by  the  addition  of  as  many  of  the  two  or  three  thousand  notes  which 
he  did  not  print  as  w^ould  show  the  sources  of  his  information.  The 
Chinese  story  of  the  great  Tatar  empire  of  the  sixth  century  a.d. 
may  be  found  in  Stanislas  Julien's  Documents  Historiques  sur  les 



Tou-Kious  (Paris,  1877).  W.  Radloff's  AlUilrkischen  Inschriften  der 
Mongol ei  (Leipsic,  1894-95)  discusses  the  earliest  knowTi  Turkish 
monuments,  which  date  from  the  eighth  century.  Emil  Bretsch- 
neider's  Medieval  Researches  from  Eastern  Asiatic  Sources  (2  vols., 
London,  1888,  new  edition,  1910)  gives  an  account  of  the  Uigurs, 
whose  greatness  came  in  the  eighth  and  ninth  centuries  and  whose 
name  persisted  until  at  least  the  twelfth  century,  as  is  shown  by  the 
oldest  known  Turkish  book,  which  is  in  their  dialect. 

This  old  book  has  been  printed,  with  original  Syriac  text,  translitera- 
tion into  Roman  characters,  and  German  translation,  by  Arminius 
(Hermann)  Vambery,  under  the  title  Uigurische  Sprachmonu?nente  und 
das  Kudatku  Bilik  (Innsbruck,  1870).  The  Kudatku  Bilik,  the  "  Wis- 
dom that  Blesses,"  written  at  Kashgar  in  1068  by  Yusuf  Khass  Hajil, 
is  really  an  "  Art  of  Government,"  composed  for  the  instruction  of  a 
Turkish  prince.  It  contains  in  rhymed  couplets,  arranged  in  chapters, 
a  large  amount  of  advice  on  governmental  matters,  much  of  it  being 
in  the  form  of  proverbs.  The  book  throws  a  great  deal  of  light  on 
the  fundamental  Ottoman  character.  Vambery  has  also  made  a 
study,  on  a  philological  basis,  of  the  civilization  of  the  Tatars,  entitled 
Die  Primitive  Cultur  des  Tiirko-tatarischen  Volkes  (Leipsic,  1879). 

A  book  equally  remarkable  with  the  Kudatku  Bilik  is  the  Siasset 
Nameh,  written  in  1092  for  the  Seljuk  sultan  Melek  Shah  by  the  great 
vizier  Abu  'Ali  al  Hasan  b.  Ishaq  (known  better  by  his  title,  the 
Nizam  al-Mulk),  and  printed  in  the  original  Persian,  with  a  French 
translation,  by  Charles  Schefer,  Paris,  1893.  This  "  Book  of  Govern- 
ment "  reveals  to  some  extent  three  things,  —  the  methods  of  govern- 
ment of  Sassanian  times,  the  actual  government  under  Melek  Shah, 
and  the  Seljuk  government  as  the  Nizam  al-Mulk  would  have  it. 
It  also  sheds  much  light  upon  Ottoman  institutions. 

The  best  general  book  on  the  Turks  in  Central  Asia  and  their  activi- 
ties down  to  the  occupation  of  Asia  Minor  is  undoubtedly  Leon 
Cahun's  Introduction  a  VHistoire  de  VAsie:  Turcs  et  Mongols  (Paris, 
1896).  The  same  ground  is  covered  briefly  by  Cahun  in  Lavisse  and 
Rambaud's  Histoire  Generale,  vol.  ii.  ch.  xvi.  There  is  a  great  deal 
of  information  about  the  Persians  and  the  Seljuk  Turks  in  E.  G. 
Browne's  Literary  History  of  Persia  (2  vols.,  London,  1902-1906). 
Maximilian  Bittner  has  made  a  valuable  study  of  the  Turkish  language, 
entitled  Der  Einfluss  des  Arabischen  und  Persischen  auf  das  Tiirkische 
(Kaiserlichen  Akademie  der  Wissenschaften,  Sitzungsberichte  der 
Philosophisch-Historischen  Classe,  vol.  cxlii.  pt.  iii.  Vienna,  1900). 


Sir  W.  M.  Ramsay's  books  are  valuable  for  a  study  of  the  settlement 
of  the  Turks  in  Asia  Minor,  particularly  his  Historical  Geography  of 
Asia  Minor  (London,  1890),  llie  Geographical  Conditions  determining 
History  and  Religion  in  Asia  Minor  (with  comments  by  D.  G.  Hogarth, 
H.  H.  Howorth,  and  others,  Geographical  Jimrnal,  September,  1902, 
XX.  257-282),  and  Studies  in  the  History  and  Art  of  the  Eastern 
Provinces  of  the  Roman  Empire  (Aberdeen,  1906).  Volume  v  of 
H.  F.  Helmolt's  Weltgesckichte  (Leipsic,  etc.,  1905)  is  useful  for  its 
attempt  to  trace  the  elements  of  Ottoman  culture  which  were  derived 
from  Byzantine  and  other  sources.  William  Miller's  The  Latins  in 
the  Levant  (New  York,  1908)  gives  a  clear  picture  of  the  confused  and 
divided  state  of  affairs  to  which  the  Ottomans  put  an  end  in  their 
rough  way. 

II.  The  Ottoman  Government  in  the  Sixteenth 


Abundant  material  for  a  study  of  the  sixteenth-century  Ottoman 
government  has  been  provided  and  preserved;  for  the  great  place 
which  the  expanding  empire  held  in  the  world  developed  an  immense 
interest  in  its  affairs  on  the  part  of  the  West,  and  made  it  worth  the 
while  of  many  of  its  Western  residents  to  prepare  descriptions  of  its 
outstanding  features,  among  which  its  peculiar  government  was 
treated  with  special  fulness.  The  writings  of  these  men  of  various 
Western  nationalities  are  in  a  way  more  helpful  than  a  similar  number 
of  books  from  native  writers  would  be,  because  the  foreigners  could 
usually  take  nothing  for  granted,  but  were  compelled  to  draw  a  com- 
plete picture.  They  could  not,  on  the  other  hand,  get  at  the  inner 
springs  of  the  Ottoman  activity  as  well  as  natives  could;  nor  do 
any  of  them,  with  the  exception  of  Menavino,  seem  actually  to  have 
read  and  knowTi  the  Ottoman  laws.  Fortunately,  Ottoman  his- 
torians began  to  write  abundantly  shortly  before  the  reign  of  Suleiman. 
For  Suleiman's  own  time,  the  collections  of  his  Kanuns  (since  he  was 
noted  as  a  legislator)  contain  much  material  which  helps  toward  an 
understanding  of  his  government;  moreover,  writers  of  a  later  date 
have  been  drawn  with  special  interest  toward  his  reign,  as  the  cUmax 
of  Ottoman  greatness.  At  the  same  time,  no  one  but  Zinkeisen  has 
attempted  to  give  an  extended  account  of  the  Ottoman  government  as 
it  was  in  the  sixteenth  century. 

No  reasonably  complete  bibliography  of  books  relating  to  Turkey 
has  been  made.    The  following  lists  are  worthy  of  mention  as  giving 


information  in  regard  to  the  material  for  a  study  of  Turkish  history 
and  institutions  before  the  year  1600:  — 

Richard  Knolles  gives  a  bare  list  of  his  authorities,  to  the  number 
of  about  twenty-five,  at  the  beginning  of  his  Generall  Historie  of  the 
Turkes,  London,  1603. 

J.  H.  Boeder  published  at  Bautzen  in  171 7  a  Commentarius  His- 
torico-Politicus  de  Rebus  Turcicis,  in  which  he  gives,  at  pp.  i4~4i)  a- 
list  of  317  works  on  Turkish  history  and  affairs,  including  45  folio 
volumes,  128  quartos,  98  octavos,  and  45  duodecimos. 

Joseph  von  Hammer  discusses  his  authorities  in  the  preface  to 
volume  i  of  his  Geschichte  des  Osmanischen  Reiches  (Pest,  1827);  and 
in  volume  x,  pp.  57-336  (1835),  he  prints  a  hst  containing  3,025  titles 
of  works  relating  to  Ottoman  history  which  were  to  be  foimd  in  Europe 
outside  of  Constantinople. 

Amat'di  San  Filippo,  in  his  Biografia  dei  Viaggiatori  Italiani,  etc. 
(2  vols.,  Rome,  1882),  gives  accounts  of  many  of  the  early  Italian 
writers  on  Turkish  affairs. 

Henri  Hauser,  in  his  edition  of  Du  Fresne-Canaye,  described  below 
(p.  319),  prints  as  Appendix  II  an  Essai  d'une  Bibliographie  des  Ouv- 
rages  de  XV le  Siecle  relatifs  au  Levant.  The  list,  which  does  not 
pretend  to  completeness,  contains  about  60  different  titles. 

The  catalogue  of  the  library  of  Count  Paul  Riant,  pubHshed  in  two 
parts  at  Paris  in  1899,  also  contains  the  titles  of  a  great  number  of 
books  and  pamphlets  which  relate  to  the  subject  under  discussion. 
Most  of  this  material  has  been  transferred  to  the  Ottoman  collection 
of  the  Library  of  Harvard  University,  through  the  generosity  of 
Messrs.  J.  R.  Coolidge  and  A.  C.  Coolidge,  —  a  gift,  it  may  be  added, 
that  has  made  the  preparation  of  the  present  treatise  possible.  There 
are  also  many  titles  on  early  Ottoman  history  in  the  catalogue  of 
Charles  Schefer's  Oriental  library  (published  at  Paris  in  1899),  from 
which  the  same  donors  have  contributed  445  volumes  to  the  Harvard 
Ottoman  collection. 

The  list  given  in  the  Cambridge  Modern  History,  i.  700-705, 
in  connection  with  Professor  J.  B.  Bury's  chapter  on  "  The  Ottoman 
Conquest,"  is  fuller  than  most  of  those  just  mentioned.  It  omits 
some  valuable  authorities,  however,  such  as  Schiltberger,  Menavino, 
Ramberti,  and  Busbecq. 

It  is  possible  to  get  contemporaneous  views  of  the  Ottoman  Empire 
at  a  date  earlier  than  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century,  though 
they  are  all  incomplete.    The  first  accoimts  go  back  to  the  battle  of 


NicopoHs  in  1396.  Froissart  (Chroniques,  ed.  Lettenhove,  xv.  319  ff., 
Brussels,  1871),  in  a  description  of  the  battle  and  succeeding  events 
which  was  based  on  accounts  given  by  Jacques  du  F"ay  and  Jacques  de 
Helly,  gives  some  idea  of  the  Turkish  army  and  the  sultan.  A  better 
account  for  the  present  purpose  is  that  by  Johann  Schiltberger  (trans- 
lated into  English  by  J.  B.  Telfer,  and  published  by  the  Hakluyt 
Society  as  The  Bondage  and  Travels  of  Johann  Schiltberger,  London, 
1879).  Schiltberger,  then  a  youth  of  sixteen,  was  taken  prisoner  at 
Nicopolis,  and  after  serving  as  slave  to  Bayezid  I  for  six  years,  was 
captured  by  Timur  at  the  battle  of  Angora,  1402.  He  was  retained 
as  captive,  not  without  important  responsibilities  and  wide  journeys, 
for  twenty-five  years  longer,  when  he  succeeded  in  escaping.  It  is  a 
matter  for  regret  that  he  says  very  little  of  his  life  at  the  sultan's  court, 
since  he  held  a  position  which  corresponded  to  that  of  page  in  later 

Another  general  account  of  the  Turkish  polity  comes  from  the  pen 
of  Bertrandon  de  la  Broquiere,  first  gentleman-carver  (ecuyer  tran- 
chant),  councillor,  and  chamberlain  of  Duke  Philip  the  Good  of 
Burgundy.  In  the  course  of  a  trip  through  the  Levant  he  met  Murad 
II  in  Rumelia  in  1433.  ^^^  observations  show  that  many  features 
of  the  Turkish  system  were  then  already  in  operation,  —  as  the  four 
pashas,  the  slave  system,  the  pages,  the  imperial  harem,  the  Janissaries 
(Jehaniceres),  the  feudal  army,  the  Divan,  etc.  La  Broquiere's 
memoirs  are  edited  by  Charles  Schefer,  under  the  title  Le  Voyage 
d'Outremer,  as  volume  xii  of  Recneil  de  Voyages  et  de  Documents  pour 
servir  a  VHistoire  de  la  Geographic  depuis  le  Xllle  jusqu'd  la  fin  du 
XVIe  Steele  (Paris,  1892).  The  same  volume  contains  an  opinion  in 
regard  to  the  military  power  of  the  Turks  by  Jehan  Torzelo,  dating 
from  the  year  1439. 

Still  another  report  was  written  by  a  Transylvanian  whose  name 
remains  unknown,  but  who  was  a  slave  in  Ottoman  private  families 
from  1436  to  1453.  Evidently  he  had  before  his  capture  been  a 
theological  student  who  held  some  of  the  ideas  that  preceded  the 
Reformation  movement.  His  book  had  a  great  vogue  after  the  year 
1509,  under  various  titles,  such  as:  Ricoldus,  De  Vita  et  Moribus 
Turcarum,  Paris,  1509  (the  attachment  to  the  name  of  Ricoldus  is 
purely  accidental);  LibcUiis  de  Ritu  et  Moribus  Turcarum,  Witten- 
berg, 1530  (with  a  preface  by  JMartin  Luther);  S.  Frank,  Cronica- 
Abconterfayung,  etc.,  Augsburg,  1531;  Tractatus  de  Moribus,  etc. 
The  Wittenberg  edition  has  been  used  in  this  treatise,  and  is  referred 


to  as  Tractatus.  Although  most  of  the  book  is  theological  and  argu- 
mentative, it  affords  a  great  deal  of  information.  Among  other  things, 
it  contains  what  is  probably  the  earliest  mention  of  the  tribute  children 
as  the  regular  means  of  recruiting  the  Janissaries  (Ginnitscheri) . 

The  next  good  contemporary  account  of  the  Ottoman  system  is 
given  in  the  history  of  Chal(co) condyles  (written  in  Greek),  of  which 
there  are  many  editions  and  translations.  The  one  used  here  is  the 
French  translation,  Histoire  de  la  Decadence  de  V Empire  Grec  et  Etab- 
lissement  de  celui  des  Turcs,  Rouen,  1670.  This  writer,  whose  story 
comes  down  to  1465,  speaks  out  of  his  own  observ^ation  in  describing 
the  Ottoman  camp  and  government. 

The  oldest  authentic  Kanuns  are  in  the  Kanun-nameh  of  Mohammed 
II,  which  is  translated  by  Hammer  in  his  Staatsverjassung  (Vienna, 
1815),  87-101. 

The  earliest  book  that  was  devoted  to  a  description  of  Ottoman 
manners,  religion,  and  government  is  by  Teodoro  Spandugino  Canta- 
cusino.  Born  of  an  Italian  father  and  a  Greek  mother,  he  spent  his 
life  alternately  in  the  East  and  the  West.  His  book  describes  the 
empire  as  it  was  under  Bayezid  II,  who  died  in  15 12,  his  information 
about  the  government  being  obtained  from  two  very  high  renegade 
officials,  probably  Messih  Pasha  and  Hersek-Zadeh  Ahmed  Pasha. 
The  earliest  edition  was  printed  in  French  at  Paris  in  1 519  under  the 
title  Petit  Traicte  de  VOrigine  des  Turcqz;  later  editions,  with  and  \Ndth- 
out  his  name,  or  under  the  name  of  B.  Gycaud,  bear  the  title  La 
Genealogie  du  Grant  Turc  a  Present  Regnant,  etc.  The  edition  used 
here  is  a  reprint  of  the  first  French  issue,  edited  with  notes  by  C. 
Schefer,  Paris,  1896.  This  writer  is  sometimes  quoted  as  Spandugino, 
and  sometimes  as  Cantacusino.  The  first  form  is  used  in  the  present 

A  book  that  is  even  more  valuable  in  some  ways  is  Giovanni  An- 
tonio Menavino's  Trattato  de  Costumi  et  Vita  de  Turchi.  The  edition 
used  here  was  printed  in  Florence  in  1548.  Mena\-ino  came  of  a 
wealthy  Genoese  family.  About  the  year  1505,  when  he  was  twelve 
years  of  age,  handsome,  bright,  and  well  educated  for  his  years,  he  was 
captured  near  Corsica  by  corsairs,  and  set  aside  as  a  gift  suitable  for 
the  sultan.  Taken  to  Bayezid  II,  he  pleased  the  old  sultan  greatly, 
and  was  placed  at  once  in  the  school  of  pages,  where,  as  his  book  shows 
throughout,  he  must  have  profited  greatly  by  the  teaching  that  he 
received.  He  describes  the  religion,  customs,  and  government  of  the 
Ottomans  in  much  detail.    In  15 14  he  was  taken  by  Selim  I  on  the 


expedition  against  Persia;  but  he  managed  to  escape  to  Trebizond, 
whence  he  made  his  way  to  Adrianople,  Salonika,  and  thence  home 
to  Genoa. 

A  group  of  excellent  sources  for  studies  of  both  the  government 
and  the  history  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  in  the  sixteenth  century  is 
found  in  the  reports  which  the  Venetian  Bailos  and  orators  extra- 
ordinary presented  to  their  Senate. 

Venice,  says  Ranke,  "  frequently  sent  her  most  experienced  and 
able  citizens  to  foreign  courts.  Not  content  with  the  despatches  on 
current  afTairs  regularly  sent  home  every  fourteen  days,  she  further 
required  of  her  ambassadors,  when  they  returned  after  an  absence  of 
two  or  three  years,  that  they  should  give  a  circumstantial  account  of 
the  court  and  the  country  they  had  been  visiting."  ^  Since  Con- 
stantinople was  in  the  sixteenth  century  the  station  of  first  importance 
in  the  Venetian  dii)lomatic  service,  it  is  safe  to  assume  that  the  sons 
whom  she  sent  there  w^ere  her  most  intelligent. 

A  number  of  these  Venetian  reports,  which  do  not,  however,  reach 
far  into  Suleiman's  reign,  are  summarized  by  Marini  Sanuto  the 
Younger  in  his  volumious  Diaril,  1496-1533  (58  vols,  in  59,  Venice, 
1879-1903).  The  reports  of  Alvise  Sagudino  in  1496,  and  of  Andrea 
Gritti  in  1503,  are  quoted  by  Schefer  in  the  introduction  to  his  edition 
of  Spandugino's  work,  noticed  above.  Rinaldo  Fulin,  in  his  Diarii  e 
Diaristi  Veneziani  (Venice,  1881)  reprints  Sanuto's  abstract  of  the 
Itinerary  of  Pietro  Zeno,  orator  at  Constantinople  in  1523. 

The  Venetian  reports  for  the  reign  of  Suleiman  are  all,  so  far  as 
preser\'ed  and  known,  collected  in  the  invaluable  work  of  Eugenio 
Alberi,  Relazione  degli  Ambasciatori  Vencti  al  Senato  (15  vols.,  Florence, 
1839-1863).  The  three  volumes  of  the  third  series  (pubHshed  1840, 
1844,  1855,  respectively),  as  well  as  a  portion  of  the  fifteenth  volume 
or  Appendix,  are  devoted  to  Turkish  reports.  Volume  i  of  this  series 
is  also  separately  printed  as  Doaimenti  di  Storia  Ottomana  del  Secolo 
XVI  (Florence,  1842).  A  few  writings  are  included  in  these  volumes 
which  were  not  reports  to  the  Venetian  senate. 

In  all,  thirty-nine  documents  are  thus  presented,  of  which  sixteen 
fall  wichin  the  reign  of  Suleiman.  Unfortunately  there  is  a  gap 
between  the  years  1534  and  1553,  a  period  for  which  there  should  be 
eight  or  ten  documents  of  great  value  bearing  on  the  Ottoman  dealings 
with  France,  Austria,  Spain,  and  Persia. 

'  Leopold  Ranke,  The  Ottoman  and  the  Spanish  Empires,  Preface,  i. 


These  volumes  contain  much  helpful  apparatus,  such  as  a  glossary 
of  Turkish  words  (vol.  1);  notes  on  the  Venetian  embassies  to  the 
Porte  in  the  sLxteenth  century,  with  a  list  of  the  Venetian  representa- 
tives (vol.  ii);  biographical  notes  concerning  the  writers  (all  three 
volumes);  chronological  tables,  genealogies,  etc.  (Appendix).  The 
Venetians  were  particularly  interested  in  the  financial  side  of  the 
Ottoman  government,  its  mechanism,  its  army,  and  its  fleet.  Many 
character  descriptions  of  great  personages  enliven  the  pages.  The 
last  pages  of  the  Appendix  contain  a  chronological  index  of  the  Re- 
lazione  and  the  other  writings  included;  also  an  alphabetical  list  of 
them  by  authors,  and  chronological  lists  by  countries.  The  sub- 
joined list  of  reports  from  Constantinople  is  taken  from  page  435, 
and  will  serve  as  a  means  of  locating  many  references  in  the  foregoing 
pages.    The  more  valuable  reports  are  distinguished  by  asterisks. 

Venetian  Reports  from  Constantinople 

as  given  in  Alberi's  Relazione,  3d  series,  3  vols,  and  Appendix 

(Florence,  1840- 1863) 

Writer  Date  Volume  Page 

Gritti,  Andrea     1503  iii  i 

Giustiniani,  Antonio 15 14  "  45 

Mocenigo,  Alvise    1518  "  53 

Contarini,  Bartolomeo 1519  "  56 

Minio,  Marco   1522  "  69 

Zen,  Pietro 1524  "  93 

Bragadino,  Pietro 1526  "  99 

Minio,  Marco   1527  "  113 

Zen,  Pietro 153°  "  ^  ^9 

*Ludovisi,  Daniello    1534  i  i 

*Navagero,  Bernardo 1553  "  33 

A  nonimo "  "  i93 

*Trevisano,  Domenico 1554  "  m^ 

*Erizzo,  Antonio 1557  "i  123 

*Barbarigo,  Antonio 1558  "  145 

Cavalli,  Marino 1560  i  271 

Dandolo,  Andrea    1562  iii  161 

Donini,  Marcantonio     "  "  i73 

*Barbarigo,  Daniele 1564  ii  i 

Bonrizzo,  Luigi     1565  "  61 

Ragazzoni,  Jacopo   1571  "  77 

*Barbaro,  Marcantonio     15 73  i  299 

Barbaro,  Marcantonio "  Append.  387 

Badoaro,  Andrea "  i  347 

*Garzoni,  Costantino "  "  3^9 


Venetian  Reports  from  Constantinople  {continued) 

Writer  Date  Volume  Page 

Alessandri,  Vincenzo   1574  ii  103 

Anonimo    1575  "  309 

*Ticpolo,  Antonio 1576  "  129 

*Soranzo,  Giacomo "  "  193 

Venier,  Maffeo    1579  i  437 

Anonimo 1582  ii  209  * 

Anonimo "  "  427 

Contarini,  Paolo  1583  lii  209 

*Morosini,  Gianfrancesco   1585  "  251 

Michiel,  Giovanni 1587  ii  255 

Venier,  Maffeo    "  "  295 

*Moro,  Giovanni    iSQO  iii  323 

*Bernardo,  Lorenzo  1592  ii  321 

*Zane,  Matteo 1594  iii  381 

An  interesting  small  pamphlet  is  the  Auszug  eines  Brief es  .  .  .  das 
Tiirckich  Regiment  unn  Wesen  sey,  which  was  printed  in  a  South- 
German  dialect  in  1526.  It  purports  to  be  a  letter  from  a  German 
settled  at  Adrianople  to  his  cousin  in  Germany,  telling  of  his  life  as 
subject  Christian  under  the  sultan.  The  literary  arrangement  is  so 
good,  and  the  statements  diverge  so  uniformly  toward  the  dark  side, 
that  this  would  seem  to  be  a  pamphlet  written  in  Germany  for  the 
purpose  of  arousing  alarm  and  activity  after  the  battle  of  Mohacs. 

Hieronymus  Balbus,  bishop  of  Gurk,  published  at  Rome  in  1526  a 
Uttle  book  of  two  essays  addressed  to  Clement  VII.  The  second  part, 
"  continens  Turcarum  Originem,  Mores,  Imperium,"  etc.,  was  also 
commended  to  the  Archduke  I'erdinand.  The  work  makes  up  for  a 
conspicuous  lack  of  definite  and  accurate  information  by  means  of 
abundant  scriptural  and  classical  quotations  and  allusions,  vitupera- 
tion of  the  Turks,  and  assertion  of  their  military  ineffectiveness.  It  is 
chiefly  valuable  as  an  evidence  of  the  "  Turkish  fear." 

A  book  that  had  a  wide  influence  is  Turcicarum  Renim  Commentarius 
addressed  by  Paolo  Giovio,  or  Paulus  Jovius,  bishop  of  Nocera,  to 
Emperor  Charles  the  Fifth,  and  dedicated  at  Rome  in  153 1.  It  was 
published  in  several  languages;  the  edition  used  here  is  the  Latin  one, 
Paris,  1539.  The  book  is  historical  except  for  the  last  ten  pages, 
which  contain  a  description  of  the  Ottoman  government  with  partic- 
ular reference  to  its  military  resources.     Giovio  published  also  in 

»  The  report  at  this  page,  though  ascribed  to  Jacopo  Soranzo,  1581,  and  so  referred  to  in  the 
foregoing  footnotes,  was  really  written  in  15S2  by  some  one  in  his  suite. 


two  volumes  at  Florence,  in  1550-1552,  Historiarum  sui  Teniporis 
Tomtis  Primus  [et  Secundus]. 

V.  D.  Tanco,  or  Clavedan  del  Estanco,  a  Spanish  gentleman,  wrote 
in  his  native  tongue  a  book  that  was  translated  into  Italian  and 
published  at  Venice  in  1558  under  the  title  Libro  dell'  Origine  et  Suc- 
cessione  delV  Imperio  de'  Turchi.  The  basis  of  the  work  is  the  Com- 
mentarius  of  Jovius,  just  noticed;  but  this  has  been  intelligently 
combined  with  information  from  Froissart,  Aeneas  Sylvius,  and  others. 
The  latest  date  mentioned  is  1537,  and  the  death  of  Ibrahim  in  1536 
is  not  known. 

A  very  valuable  and  interesting  work  is  the  Libri  Tre  delle  Cose  de 
Turchi,  etc.,  pubUshed  by  Aldus  in  Venice  in  1539,  and  reprinted 
often  thereafter.  It  appears  also  as  one  of  the  component  parts  of  the 
work  puhlishedhy  Aldus  in  I  ^4T,,Viaggifatti  da  Vinetia,  alia  tana  .  .  . 
in  Costantinopoli,  known  sometimes  simply  as  Viaggi  alia  tana,  or 
"  Travels  to  the  Don."  The  book  appeared  anonymously,  but  it  has 
been  attributed  with  much  confidence  to  Benedetto  Ramberti  (see 
Alberi,  Relazione,  3d  series,  iii.  8;  Archiv  fiir  Oesterreichische  Geschichte, 
1897,  Ixxxiii.  9;  Revue  Critique,  1896,  i.  20-21).  Ramberti  accom- 
panied Ludovisi  to  and  from  Constantinople  during  the  first  six 
months  of  1534.  The  book  was  written  in  the  same  year;  for  it 
shows  that  Barbarossa  was  made  pasha  while  it  was  in  process 
of  composition  (see  above,  Appendix  I,  p.  246,  and,  for  the  fact  that 
Barbarossa  was  back  in  Algiers,  May  9,  1534,  see  Ursu,  La  Politique 
Orientale  de  Francois  I,  Paris,  1908,  p.  79),  and  in  a  long  characteriza- 
tion at  the  close  of  the  third  book  it  represents  Luigi  (Alvise)  Gritti, 
who  was  assassinated  in  Hungary  late  in  1534,  as  still  living. 

The  first  book  of  the  three  describes  the  journey  overland  from 
Ragusa  to  Constantinople;  the  third  book  contains  observations  of 
no  great  value  on  the  power  and  policies  of  the  Turks.  The  second 
book  is  the  piece  de  resistance.  It  opens  with  a  brief  description  of 
Constantinople  and  a  rapid  sketch  of  the  origin  and  history  of  the 
Ottoman  Turks.  An  account  of  the  Turkish  government  follows, 
beginning  with  the  inside  service  of  the  household  of  the  sultan, 
proceeding  to  the  outside  service,  then  taking  up  the  chief  officers  of 
government,  the  Janissaries,  the  Spahis  of  the  Porte  and  the  auxiliary 
branches  of  the  army.  The  harem,  the  palaces  of  the  pages,  the 
Ajem-ogklans,  and  the  arsenal  are  next  described;  then  the  feudal 
army  is  explained  as  it  was  constituted  in  Europe  and  in  Asia;  and, 
finally,  a  Hst  of  the  sanjakates  of  the  empire  is  given.    The  Italian 

APPENDIX  3  1 5 

used  is  fairly  good,  and  the  style  is  very  simple,  often  degenerating  to 
the  mere  cataloguing  of  ofTicers.  Throughout  the  book  the  financial 
aspect  of  the  government  is  emphasized  strongly,  the  incomes  of  all 
persons  mentioned  being  carefully  stated.  This  second  book  of 
Ramberti  is  of  so  great  im{)ortance  to  the  present  treatise  that  it 
is  given  in  translation  as  Appendix  I.  The  text  used  is  that  of  the 
Viaggi  .  .  .  alia  tana  (Venice,  1543). 

Standing  in  exceedingly  close  relationship  to  the  second  book  of 
Ramberti  is  a  twenty-two  page  pamphlet  bearing  the  name  of  Junis 
Bey  (lonus  Bei).  Written  in  broad  Venetian  dialect  and  printed  on 
coarse  paper  in  type  of  a  poor  quality,  not  kept  clean,  it  is  in  two 
portions,  respectively  of  eight  and  fourteen  pages,  which  are  distin- 
guished by  the  use  of  larger  and  smaller  type.  The  title-page  bears 
the  inscription  "  reprinted  in  1537."  The  sixth  page  begins  the  list 
of  pashas  with  the  statement  that  "  Ibrahim  of  Parga  is  dead,"  and 
then  gives  the  name  of  his  successor  in  the  office  of  grand  vizier. 
On  the  seventeenth  page  it  is  said  that  the  territories  of  the  Beylerbey 
of  Mesopotamia  "  border  "  those  of  Bagdad  which  belong  to  Persia 
(Bagdad  was  taken  by  Suleiman  in  the  winter  of  1535  and  1536); 
on  the  eighteenth  occurs  the  remark  that  Alvise  Gritti  "  says  "  such 
and  such  a  thing;  and  at  the  close  the  book  is  attributed  to  "  lonus 
bei  "  and  "  Signor  Aluise  gritti."  Now,  Junis  Bey  was  in  Venice 
from  December  6,  1532,  to  January  9,  1533  (thesis  of  Theodore  F. 
Jones,  p.  168,  Harvard  College  Library);  Gritti  was  assassinated  in 
1534;  Junis  Bey  was  again  in  Venice  from  January  15  to  February  17, 
1537  (Jones,  2og).  It  seems  reasonable  to  conclude,  therefore,  that 
the  first  edition  of  the  pamphlet  was  printed  at  Venice  in  1533  at  the 
time  of  Junis  Bey's  first  visit,  and  that  at  the  time  of  his  second  visit 
in  1537  the  first  eight  pages  were  recast  with  a  few  changes,  and  in 
certain  unsold  copies  substituted  for  the  older  pages,  the  remainder 
being  left  as  it  stood  originally,  despite  the  erroneous  reference  to 

It  is  very  clear  that  Ramberti  had  before  him  while  preparing  his 
"  second  book  "  a  document  almost  identical  with  this  pamphlet. 
Beginning  with  his  description  of  the  sultan's  household  service,  the 
order  of  treatment  is  practically  the  same,  and  even  the  words  and 
phrases  are  often  the  same,  except  for  differences  of  dialect.  His 
language  frequently  suggests  that  he  is  expanding  on  some  material 
before  him.  It  is  worthy  of  note,  however,  that  not  only  Rambcrti's 
use  of  ItaUan,  but  also  his  use  of  Turkish,  is  frequently  better  than 


that  of  Junis  Bey.  Moreover,  in  his  list  of  officials  he  includes  the 
Mufti  and  the  chief  dragoman  (Terjuman),  whom  Junis  Bey  leaves 
out,  the  latter  omission  being  the  more  remarkable  in  that  Junis  Bey 
held  that  office  himself.  On  the  other  hand,  where  there  are  dif- 
ferences in  numbers,  Junis  Bey  is  more  apt  to  be  correct  than  Ramberti. 
It  seems  not  unlikely  that  both  works  were  derived  from  a  manuscript, 
more  nearly  complete  and  correct  than  either,  in  the  possession  of 
Alvise  Gritti,  which  the  latter  allowed  the  two  writers  to  use,  Junis 
Bey  probably  in  1532  and  Ramberti  in  1534.  Al\dse  Gritti  was  well 
known  to  both.  Natural  son  of  the  doge  Andrea  Gritti,  he  had  won 
high  favor  with  Ibrahim,  who  entrusted  him  with  great  responsibilities. 
In  fact,  it  may  not  be  too  bold  a  conjecture  to  suggest  that  some  of  the 
information  contained  in  his  manuscript  came  from  the  celebrated 
Grand  Vizier  himself.  Aside  from  this  possibility,  a  minute  survey 
of  the  Ottoman  government,  prepared  by  Gritti  himself  or  with  his 
collaboration,  either  for  his  own  use  or  for  the  information  of  his 
kinsfolk  the  Venetians,  possesses  a  presumption  in  favor  of  its  accuracy 
and  truthfulness.  Accordingly  the  closing  words,  "  all  is  true," 
may  be  accepted  with  Httle  reserve. 

These  two  works,  by  Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey,  were  much  used  by 
other  writers  on  Turkish  affairs.  Postel  shows  a  close  acquaintance 
with  them,  and  Geuffroy  frequently  does  little  more  than  present  a 
translation.  Ramberti  was  incorporated  into  a  number  of  the  col- 
lected works  in  regard  to  the  Turks  which  appeared  in  various  lan- 
guages after  the  middle  of  the  sixteenth  century  and  thus  entered  into 
systematic  histories.  Since  the  pamphlet  of  Junis  Bey  is  very  rare, 
its  text  is  presented  in  Appendix  II,  above.  Besides  matter  very 
similar  to  that  of  Ramberti,  it  contains  near  the  end  an  account  of 
the  order  of  march  of  the  sultan's  army  when  he  went  to  war. 

Guillaume  Postel  is  perhaps  the  broadest-minded  of  the  sixteenth- 
century  observers.  He  gives  evidence  of  ha\ang  had  a  legal 
training,  and  of  having  reflected  along  political  and  constitutional 
lines.  Nicolay,  in  his  preface,  informs  us  that  Postel  knew  Latin, 
Greek,  Hebrew,  Chaldean,  Syriac,  and  Arabic,  as  well  as  the  principal 
Western  languages.  He  was  sent  by  Francis  I  with  the  momentous 
embassy  of  La  Foret,  and  was  therefore  in  Constantinople  about  the 
year  1535.  He  seems  to  have  made  a  later  visit  for  the  purpose  of 
acquiring  manuscripts;  but  the  substance  of  his  book,  as  appears 
from  numerous  references,  dates  from  the  first  visit.  The  volume 
was  printed  at  Poitiers  in  1560,  but  was  not  published  till  1570.  It 
contains  three  parts,  separately  paged:  — 


I.  De  la  Repuhlique  des  Turcs;  II.  Ilistoire  et  Consideration  de 
VOrigine,  Loy,  et  Coustume  des  Tartares  .  .  .  Turcs,  etc.,  III.  La 
Tierce  Partie  des  Orientales  Histoires,  ou  est  exposee  la  Condition, 
Puissance,  b°  Revenue  de  VEmpire  Turquesque,  etc.  The  first  part 
gives,  among  other  things,  an  excellent  account  of  the  page  system 
and  of  Ottoman  law  and  justice.  The  third  part  is  built  upon  the 
information  in  Ramberti  and  Junis  Bey;  it  describes  the  page  system 
further,  and  adds  a  good  account  of  the  Ajem-oghlans  and  the  Janis- 
saries.    By  a  reference  it  shows  acquaintance  with  Giovio. 

Antoine  Geuflroy,  knight  of  St.  John,  issued  in  1542  his  Briefve 
Description  de  la  Court  du  Grand  Turc.  Four  years  later  this  was 
published  in  English  by  R.  Grafton  under  the  title  The  Order  of  the 
Great  Turcks  Court  of  Eye  Menne  of  War;  and  from  thirty  to  fifty 
years  later  it  appeared,  combined  with  other  material,  in  large  volumes 
in  the  Latin  and  German  tongues  under  the  name  of  N.  Honigerus  or 
Haeniger,  with  a  Latin  translation  by  G.  Godelevaeus,  entitled  Aulae 
Turcicae,  Othomannicique  Imperii  Descriptio,  etc.  The  work  of 
Geuflfroy  thus  had  a  great  vogue.  It  was  a  sound,  intelligent  descrip- 
tion of  the  empire,  built  upon  the  information  in  Ramberti  and  Junis 
Bey.  By  references  and  allusions  it  shows  acquaintance  with  Froissart, 
Spandugino,  and  Giovio.  The  references  to  Geuflroy  in  the  foregoing 
pages  are  to  the  reprint  in  Schefer's  edition  of  Jean  Chesneau,  de- 
scribed below. 

Bartholomew  Georgevitz,  pilgrim  to  Jerusalem,  issued  a  small 
book,  De  Turcarum  Moribus  Epitome,  which  passed  through  many 
editions  in  two  or  three  languages,  the  first  dating  not  later  than  1544, 
and  the  latest  not  earlier  than  1629.  The  chapters  are  on  various 
topics  and  from  various  sources.  The  first,  on  the  rites  and  cere- 
monies of  the  Turks,  is  abridged  from  Spandugino.  The  second,  on 
the  Turkish  soldiery,  is  by  Georgevitz  himself;  it  is  perhaps  the  most 
valuable,  and  shows  by  the  age  assigned  to  Prince  Mustapha  that 
it  was  written  about  1537.  The  fourth  chapter  gives  useful  Turkish 
phrases,  and  is  interesting  as  showing  how  Turkish  words  were  pro- 
nounced in  the  sixteenth  century.  The  fifth  chapter  gives  a  full 
account  of  the  treatment  of  slaves  of  private  citizens,  written  by  one 
who  had  been  a  slave,  apparently  Georgevitz  himself.  The  edition 
referred  to  in  this  treatise  was  printed  at  Paris  in  1566. 

Jerome  Maurand  accompanied  Captain  Pinon  on  his  mission  to 
Constantinople  in  1544.  A  few  years  later  he  wrote,  in  Italian, 
an  account  of  his  journey,  which  was  translated  by  Leon  Dorez  as 


Itineraire  de  Jerome  Maurand  d'Antibes  a  Constantinople,  and  pub- 
lished at  Paris  in  igoi  as  vol.  xvii  of  Recueil  de  Voyages,  etc. 

Before  1549,  Ibrahim  Halebi,  the  jurist,  prepared  by  command  of 
Suleiman  the  codification  of  the  Sacred  Law  which  bears  the  name  of 
Multeka  ol-ehhar,  and  which  formed  the  foundation  of  D'Ohsson's 
great  work. 

Jean  Chesneau  went  to  Constantinople  with  D'Aramont,  ambassa- 
dor of  Henry  II  of  France,  and  accompanied  him  on  Suleiman's 
campaign  against  Persia  in  1549.  His  narrative,  which  is  not  very 
illuminating  or  accurate,  was  edited  by  Charles  Schefer  and  published 
at  Paris  in  1887,  under  the  title,  Le  Voyage  de  Monsieur  d'Aramon, 
as  vol.  viii  of  Recueil  de  Voyages,  etc.  Boimd  in  the  same  volume  are 
five  letters  in  the  Italian  language,  written  from  Constantinople  in 
1547  by  the  ambassador  Veltwyck  to  Archduke  Ferdinand  of  Austria; 
there  is  also  (at  pp.  227-248)  a  reprint  in  French  of  the  first  edition  of 

Nicolas  de  Nicolay  of  Dauphine,  royal  geographer  and  extensive 
traveler,  who  wrote  a  book  called  Discours  et  VHistoire  Veritable  des 
Navigations,  Peregrinations  et  Voyages  f aids  en  la  Turquie,  is  not  the 
least  interesting  of  sixteenth-century  authorities  on  Turkey.  His 
account  of  his  voyage  from  Marseilles  to  Constantinople  in  the  year 
1551  in  the  train  of  the  Seigneur  d'Aramont,  ambassador  of  Henry  II, 
and  the  drawings  from  life  with  which  he  embellishes  his  book,  show 
his  capacity  for  exact  observation.  In  his  descriptions  of  the  customs 
and  government  of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  however,  he  does  not  reveal 
the  possession  of  much  first-hand  information.  Menavino  is  here  his 
principal  source  of  knowledge.  The  first  edition  of  his  book  appeared 
at  Lyons  in  1567;  it  was  translated  into  several  languages  and  repro- 
duced often.  An  enlarged  edition,  published  at  Antwerp  in  1586, 
is  the  one  referred  to  in  the  foregoing  pages.  The  plates  in  the  book, 
about  sixty  in  number,  have  been  said  to  be  the  work  of  Titian ;  but 
this  is  apparently  incorrect,  for  the  preface  merely  states  that  Nicolay 
drew  from  life  on  the  spot  and  afterwards  had  the  drawings  reproduced 
*'  avecfraiz  b°  labeur  incroyable.^' 

From  a  literary  point  of  view,  Ogier  Ghiselin  de  Busbecq  is  by  all 
odds  the  most  interesting  of  sixteenth-century  sources  for  the  study  of 
Ottoman  history  and  government.  The  charm  of  his  style  should  not 
obscure  the  facts  that  he  was  a  keen  and  exact  observer  possessed  of  a 
true  scientific  spirit,  and  that  he  reflected  carefully  on  what  he  saw. 
He  wrote  on  Turkey  during  his  period  of  service  as  ambassador  from 


Charles  V  to  Suleiman  between  1555  and  1562.  One  of  his  four 
Turkish  letters  was  printed  in  Antwerp  in  1581,  and  since  that  time  at 
least  twenty-seven  editions  and  reprints  have  appeared  in  seven 
languages.  The  edition  of  his  Life  and  Letters,  in  two  volumes, 
translated  from  the  original  Latin  by  C.  T.  Forster  and  F.  H.  B. 
Daniell  (London,  1881),  has  been  used  in  this  treatise,  as  has  also  his 
De  Re  Mililari  contra  Turcam  instituenda  Consilium,  as  printed  in  a 
complete  edition  of  his  writings  published  at  Pest  in  1758,  pp.  234- 

Philippe  Du  Fresne-Canaye,  a  young  Huguenot  gentleman,  was 
sent  by  his  family  to  Venice  for  safety  in  the  troubled  days  after  the 
massacre  of  St.  Bartholomew;  and  he  took  advantage  of  his  nearness 
to  the  Levant  to  visit  Constantinople  in  1573.  He  had  prepared 
himself  for  his  visit  by  reading  Ramberti,  Postel,  Nicolay,  and  others, 
but  he  does  not  seem  to  have  learned  much  that  was  not  in  those 
authorities.  His  Voyage  du  Levant  was  edited  for  publication  in 
Paris  in  1897  by  Henri  Hauser,  as  vol.  xvi  of  Recueil  de  Voyages,  etc. 
Hauser's  Appendix  II  contains  the  bibliography  of  sixteenth-century 
works  relating  to  the  Levant  which  is  mentioned  above  (p.  308). 

The  Kanun-nameh  of  Suleiman,  collected  by  the  Mufti  Ebu  su'ud, 
who  died  in  1574,  contained  a  number  of  the  Sultan's  Kanuns  relating 
mainly  to  financial  and  feudal  matters.  A  translation  of  the  incom- 
plete table  of  contents  of  the  Turkish  manuscript  copy  of  this  Kanun- 
nameh  (which  is  in  the  Imperial  Library  at  Vienna,  Fluegel  No.  1816) 
is  given  above  as  Appendix  HI.  Many  of  the  Kanuns  are  translated 
in  Hammer's  Staatsverfassung,  pp.  396-424,  where  they  are  erroneously 
attributed  to  Achmet  I. 

A  little  anonymous  book.  The  Policy  of  the  Turkish  Empire, 
published  at  London  in  1597,  contains  an  interesting  preface.  The 
remainder  of  the  book  deals  only  with  the  Turkish  religion,  and  is 
drawn  mainly  from  Menavino,  with  some  incorporation  from  Spandu- 
gino  and  Georgevitz. 

At  the  conclusion  of  Richard  Knolles's  Generall  Ilistorie  of  the 
Turkes  (London,  1603),  is  to  be  found  "A  Briefe  Discourse  of  the 
Greatnesse  of  the  Turkish  Empire,"  written  probably  in  the  year 
of  publication,  since  the  story  comes  down  to  the  accession  of 
Achmet  I  in  1603.  The  lands  of  the  empire,  "of  all  others  now  upon 
earth  farre  the  greatest,"  are  described,  its  revenues  are  set  forth,  the 
Timariotes,  the  Janissaries,  the  chief  officers  of  state,  and  the  fleet 
receive  notice,  and  the  Turkish  power  is  compared  with  that  of  all 


states  which  touch  its  frontiers.  It  is  to  this  part  of  Knolles's  work 
(as  printed  in  the  6th  edition  of  his  History,  with  Ricaut's  con- 
tinuation, London,  1687,  ii.  981-990)  that  most  of  the  references  in 
the  foregoing  pages  are  made. 

Pietro  Delia  Valle,  known  as  II  Pellegrino,  or  The  Pilgrim,  wrote 
Viaggi  .  .  .  in  la  Turchia,  la  Persia,  e  V India,  which  was  pubUshed  in 
two  volumes  (four  parts)  at  Rome  in  1658-1663.  He  was  in  Con- 
stantinople in  1614  and  161 5,  and  took  advantage  of  every  opportunity 
to  witness  a  ceremony.  Observant  of  costumes  and  jewels,  he  could 
not  esteem  the  Turkish  officials  highly,  because  they  were  all  slaves. 
The  references  in  this  treatise  are  to  the  second  edition  of  the  first 
part,  published  in  1662. 

Many  collections  based  on  the  above-mentioned  writings  and  on 
others  were  issued  after  the  middle  of  the  sixteenth  century,  and  many 
surveys  of  the  Ottoman  Empire  were  prepared  as  time  went  on.  Of 
the  latter,  three  stand  forth  as  of  sufficient  importance  to  throw  light 
on  sixteenth-century  conditions :  — 

Sir  Paul  Ricaut,  a  resident  of  Turkey  for  many  years,  issued  late 
in  the  seventeenth  century  The  History  of  the  Present  State  of  the  Otto- 
man Empire.  He  explains  that  he  obtained  his  information  from 
Turkish  records  from  high  officials,  from  members  of  the  Ulema,  and 
from  a  Pole  who  had  passed  through  the  school  of  pages  and  had  spent 
nineteen  years  in  all  at  the  Ottoman  court.  Ricaut  was  evidently  a 
student  of  political  philosophy;  he  seems  to  have  relied  especially 
upon  Tacitus,  the  ci\dl  law,  MachiavelH,  and  Lord  Bacon.  His  book 
was  printed  in  several  languages,  has  been  much  quoted  since,  and 
deserv^es  the  fame  it  received.  The  sixth  Enghsh  edition,  pubHshed 
in  London  in  1686,  is  used  here.  The  book  is  also  printed  at  the  end 
of  the  second  volume  of  his  edition  of  Knolles's  Turkish  History, 
London,  1687. 

Ignatius  Mouradgea  D'Ohsson,  born  in  Turkey  and  long  a  resident 
there,  prepared  between  1788  and  1818  his  great  Tableau  General  de 
VEmpire  Othoman.  He  based  his  work  on  the  Multeka  ol-ebhar  (see 
above,  p.  318)  which  with  its  comments  he  rearranged  and  translated, 
adding  to  it  a  great  many  observations  of  his  O'wti.  The  book  appeared 
in  two  forms,  the  huge  folio  edition  being  a  magnificent  example  of  the 
bookmaker's  art.  The  smaller  edition  of  the  book  (7  vols.,  Paris, 
1788-1824)  has  been  used  here.  The  last  three  volumes  were  published 
under  the  supervision  of  his  son  after  his  death.  SLx  of  the  seven 
volumes  are  based  on  the  Multeka;  the  seventh  contains  a  full  descrip- 


tion  of  the  government,  including  the  court,  the  ministers,  the  bureaus, 
the  army,  etc. 

Joseph  von  Hammer  j^ublishcd  at  Vienna,  in  181 5,  Des  Osmanischen 
Reichs  Staatsvcrjassung  und  Staalsvcrwallung,  in  two  volumes.  The 
former  is  very  largely  a  collection  of  documents,  such  as  Kanuns, 
fetvas,  and  extracts  from  the  Multeka.  A  large  amount  of  valuable 
material  is  presented;  but  it  is  only  partly  digested,  and  the  author 
often  does  not  indicate  clearly  whence  he  drew  his  extracts.  The 
second  volume  goes  over  much  the  same  ground  as  D'Ohsson's  seventh 
volume.  Another  work  of  Hammer's,  his  Geschichte  des  Osmanischen 
Reiches  (10  vols.,  Pest,  1827-1835),  has  furnished  the  historical 
background  for  this  treatise.  This  work  is  extremely  valuable  from 
the  fact  that  it  is  based  upon  numerous  inaccessible  Turkish  sources; 
but  it  is  largely  uncritical,  and  it  does  not  make  sufficient  use  of  West- 
ern authorities. 

Leopold  Ranke  published  at  Hamburg  in  1827  the  first  volume  of 
his  excellent  work,  Fiirsten  und  Volker  von  Sud-Europa.  He  was  the 
first  to  discern  the  value  of  the  Venetian  reports,  and  by  their  aid  he 
reached  far  greater  accuracy  than  had  yet  been  attained  in  attempts 
to  describe  these  great  South-European  empires  when  at  the  height  of 
their  power.  The  English  translation  by  W.  K.  Kelly,  entitled 
The  Ottoman  and  the  Spanish  Empires  in  the  Sixteenth  and  Seventeenth 
Centuries  (London,  1843),  has  been  used  in  the  present  treatise. 

The  third  volume  of  J.  W.  Zinkeisen's  Geschichte  des  Osmanischen 
Reiches  in  Europa  (Gotha,  1855)  has  been  used  for  its  discussion  of  the 
Ottoman  government  in  the  sixteenth  century.  It  is  based  too 
exclusively  on  the  Venetian  reports,  which  Zinkeisen  seems  to  have 
regarded  as  always  trustworthy,  and  it  makes  little  or  no  use  of  Turkish 

Stanley  Lane-Poole,  in  his  Story  of  Turkey,  London,  1886,  chapters 
xiv  and  xvi,  gives  a  very  good  summary  of  the  structure  of  the  Otto- 
man household  and  administration,  condensed  from  D'Ohsson's 
seventh  volume. 

In  Lavisse  and  Rambaud's  Histoire  Generate,  iv.  747  f!.,  there  is 
a  brief  account,  by  Rambaud,  of  the  organization  of  the  Ottoman 
Empire  in  general.  Though  not  accurate  in  every  respect,  it  gives, 
on  the  whole,  an  excellent  picture. 

A.  Heidbom  published  at  Vienna  and  Leipsic  in  1909  a  careful, 
well-planned,  and  extremely  valuable  work  entitled  Manuel  dc  Droit 
Public  et  AdministratiJ  de  V Empire  Ottoman.    Although  the  principal 


purpose  of  the  book  is  to  explain  present-day  conditions,  the  historical 
background  is  outlined  at  many  points.  Unfortunately  there  is 
neither  table  of  contents  nor  index;  but  perhaps  these  will  be  supplied 
when  the  work  is  extended  farther.  The  chapters  of  the  present 
volume  deal  with  the  territory  of  the  state,  the  sources  and  funda- 
mental principles  of  the  legislation  in  force  in  the  Ottoman  Empire, 
the  head  of  the  state,  nationality,  the  administrative  organization, 
and  justice.  The  chapter  on  justice  occupies  more  than  half  the  book, 
and  treats  fully  the  judicial  organization,  civil  and  criminal  law,  and 

In  addition  to  the  works  described  above,  the  appended  alphabetical 
list  contains  the  names  of  a  few  authors  whose  works,  though  occa- 
sionally quoted  in  this  treatise,  call  for  no  special  comment;  and  also 
the  names  of  a  number  of  writers  who  have  dealt  with  the  government 
of  Turkey,  but  who  have  not  been  quoted  because  their  information 
either  is  of  secondary  importance  or  derivation,  or  deals  with  a  later 
time,  when  conditions  had  been  changed. 

III.     Alphabetical  List  of  Works  Cited 

AcHMET  I.     See  Kanun-nameh  of  Achmet  I. 

Albert,  Eugenio.    Relazione  degli  ambasciatori  Veneti  al  senate.     15 

vols,  (in  3  series).     Florence,  1839-1863.  —  See  pp.  311-313. 
Alessandri,  Vincenzo.    Relazione,  1574.     In     Alberi's     Relazione,     3d 

series,  ii.  103-127.     Florence,  1844. 
Angiolello.     Mss.  in  Bibliotheque  Nationale,  Fends  Italien,  Ne.  1238. 
AuszuG  eines  briefes  .  .  .  das  turckich  Regiment  und  Wesen  sey.  n.  p. 

1526. —  Seep.  313. 
[AvENTiNUS,  Johannes.]    Tiirckische  Historien,  eder  Warhaftige  Besch- 

reibunge  aller  Tiircken   Ankunfft,   Regierung,   u.   s.   w.     Translated 

from   the   Italian   by   Heinrich   Miiller.     Frankfort,    1570.  —  Earlier 

edition,  with  slightly  different  title,  i563-[i56s]. 
Badoaro,  Andrea.    Relazione,   1573.     In  Alberi's  Relazione,  3d  series, 

i.  347-368.     Florence,  1840. 
Balbus,  Hieronymus.    H  .  .  .B.  .  .  .  ad  Clementem  VII  .  .  .  de  civili 

&  bellica  fertitudine  liber  .  .  .  cui  additus  est  alter  continens  Tur- 

carum  originem,  mores,  imperium,  etc.     Rome,  1526.  —  See  p.  313. 
Barbarigo,    Antonio.     Sommarie    della    relazione,    1558.    In    Alberi's 

Relazione,  3d  series,  iii.  145-160.     Florence,  1S55. 
Barbarigo,  Daniele.    Relazione,  1564.    Ibid.   ii.  1-59.    Florence,  1844. 
Barbaro,  Marcantonio.    Relazione,  1573.    Ihid.  i.  299-346.     Florence, 


Relazione,  1573.     Ibid.     Appendix  vol.,  387-415.    Florence,  1863. 

Bassano,  Luigi.    See  Du  Zare. 


Baudier,  Michel.     Histoire  gencralle  du  scrrail,  ct  dc  la  cour  du  grand 

seigneur  empereur  des  turcs.     Paris,  1626. 
Belin,  A[lphonse].     Du  regime  des  fiefs  militaires  dans  I'lslamisme,  et 

principalement  en  Turquie.     Journal  Asiatique.     6th  series,  xv.  187- 

301.     Paris,  1870. 
£tude  sur  la  propriete  fonciere  en  pays  musulman,  et  specialement 

en  Turquie.     Paris,  1862. 
Berard,  Victor.    La  revolution  turque.     Paris,  iQog. 
Bernardo,  Lorenzo.    Relazione,  1592.     In  Alberi's  Rclazione,  3d  series, 

ii.  321-426.     Florence,  1844. 
BiTTNER,  Maximilian.    Der  Einfluss  des  Arabischen  und  Persischen  auf 

das    Tiirkische.      Kaiserlichen    Akademie    der    Wissenschaflen.    Sit- 

zungshrrichte  der  Philosophisch  Uislorischcn  Classe,  vol.  c.xlii.  pt.   iii. 

Vienna,  1900.  —  See  p.  306. 
BOECLER,  J.  H.     Commentarius    historico-politicus    de    rebus    Turcicis. 

Bautzen,  1717.  —  See  p.  308. 
Bon,  Ottaviano.     II  serraglio  del  gransignore    (1608).     [Edited  by  Gu- 

glielmo  Berchet.]     Venice,  1865. 
BoNRizzo,   LuiGi.    Relazione,    1565.    In   Alberi's   Relazione,    3d   series, 

ii.  61-76.     Florence,  1844. 
Bragadino,  Pietro.     Sommario  della  relazione,   1526.      In  Alberi's  Re- 
lazione, 3d  series,  iii.  99-112.     Florence,  1855. 
Bretschneider,    E[mil].      Medieval    researches   from     Eastern    Asiatic 

sources.     2  vols.     London,  iSSS;  another  edition,  1910.  —  See  p.  306. 
Broscii,  Moritz.     The  height  of  the  Ottoman  power.     Cambridge  Modern 

History.     Vol.  iii.  ch.  iv.     London,  1904. 
Browne,  E.  G.    A  literary  history  of  Persia.     [2  vols.]    London,  1902- 

1906.  —  See  p.  306. 
Bury,  J.  B.    The  Ottoman  conquest.    Cambridge  Modern  History,  vol.  i. 

ch.  iii.     London,  1902. 
Busbecq,  Ogier  Ghiselin  De.    E.xclamatio:    sive  De  re  militari  contra 

Turcam   instituenda   consilium,   etc.     In   Augcrii  Gisknii  Busbequii 

Omnia  quae  extant,  234-277.     Pest,  [1758].  —  See  p.  319. 
Life  and  Letters.    Translated  by  C.  T.  Forster  and  F.  H.  B.  Daniell. 

2  vols.    London,  1881.  —  See  p.  318. 
Cahun,  Leon.    Introduction  a  I'histoire  de  I'Asie:    Turcs  et  Mongols. 

Paris,  1896.  —  See  p.  306. 
Les  revolutions  de  I'Asie.    In  Lavisse  and  Rambaud's  Histoire  Generate, 

vol.  ii.  ch.  xvi.    Paris,  1893.  —  Formation  territoriale  de  I'Asie.   Ibid., 

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TtJRCKEN,   Bernardin.     Getrewe   und   wolmeynende   kurtze  Erinnerung 

von  der  Turcken  Ordnung,  in  ircn  Kriegen  vn  Veldtschlachten.     Burgel, 



Ubicint,  A[bdolonyme].    fitat  present  de  I'empire  ottoman.    Paris,  1876. 
Urbinus,  Theophilus.    Tiirckisches  Stadt-Biichlein.     Nuremberg,  1664. 
Ursu,  J[on].    La  politique  orientale  de  Francois  I  (1515-1547).      Paris, 

Vambery,  Hermann  (Arminius).    Die  primitive  Cultur  des  turko-tatari- 

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See  p.  306. 
Uigurische  Sprachmonumente  und  das  Kudatku  Bilik.    Innsbruck, 

1870.  —  See  p.  306. 
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381-444.     Florence,  1855. 
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The  pronunciation  of  the  words  defined  should  be  approximately 
phonetic,  the  vowels  by  the  continental  system,  the  consonants  as 
usually  in  English.  Forms  not  defined  are  variant  Western  spel- 
lings. Gh  is  silent  except  at  the  beginning  of  a  word.  Plurals  of 
nouns  originally  Turkish  are  formed  by  affixing  -ler  or  -lar.  The 
plurals  in  -s  used  in  the  foregoing  pages  are  Anglicized. 

Achiar,  or  Aconiziae,  see  Akinji. 
Adet,  established  custom,  152,  161. 
Agha,  a  general  officer. 
Aghiar,  see  Akinji. 
Agiamoglani,  see  Ajem-oghlan. 
Ajem-oghlan  (untrained  youth),  a  cadet 

or  apprentice  Janissary,  79  ff. 
Akinji,  the  irregular  cavalry,  105. 
Alai  Bey,  a  colonel  of  the  feudal  cavalry, 

Alcangi,  Alcanzi,  or  Alengi,  see  Akinji. 
Allophase,  see  Ulufagi. 
Ameji,  a  receiver  of  petitions,  etc.,  183. 
Aquangi,  see  Akinji. 
Arpa-emini,  intendant  of  forage,  132. 
Ashji-bashi,  a  chief  cook,  245. 
Azab,  the  irregular  infantry,  105. 

Bailo  (Italian),  a  Venetian  minister  resi- 
dent at  Constantinople. 

Bairam,  the  name  of  two  great  Moslem 
festivals,  136. 

Balucasi,  see  Boluk-bashi. 

Bascia,  see  Pasha. 

Bash,  a  head,  a  chief. 

Bassa,  see  Pasha. 

Berat,  an  ordinance,  or  document  con- 
ferring a  dignity  or  privilege. 

Berat-emini,  a  distributor  of  ordinances, 

Beylerbey  (lord  of  lords),  a  general  of 
feudal  cavalry  and  governor  of  a  prov- 
ince or  group  of  provinces,  103. 

Beylikji,  a  director  of  the  three  chancery 
bureaus,  183. 

Beylik  Kalemi,  a  bureau  of  the  Chancery, 

Bezestan,  a  market  house  in  Constanti- 
nople, built  by  Mohammed  II. 

Bin(m)bashi  (chief  of  a  thousand),  a 

Boluk-bashi,  a  captain  of  the  Janissaries, 

Bostanji,  a  gardener. 

Bostanji-bashi,  the  head  gardener  of  the 
Sultan's  palace  —  a  high  official,  130. 

Cacaia,  see  Kiaya. 
Cadilescher,  see  Kaziasker. 
Cahaia,  or  Caia,  see  Kiaya. 
Calvalgibassi,  see  Helvaji-bashi. 
Capagasi,  see  Kapu-aghasi. 
Capiagabasi,  see  Kapuji-bashi. 
Capi  (oglan),  see  Ghureba  (oghlan). 
Caragi,  see  Kharaji. 
Caripicus,  see  Ghureba. 
Caripp  (oglan),  see  Ghureba  (oghlan). 
Caripy,  see  Ghureba. 
Carmandari  (Italianized),  muleteers,  251. 
Carzeri,  see  KJiaraji. 
Casnandarbasi,  see  Khazinchdar-bashi. 
Cavriliji  (Italianized),  a  herdsman,  251. 
Ceyssi,  see  Seis. 
Chakirji,  a  vulturer,  252. 
Chasnejir,  a  taster,  245. 
Chasnejir-bashi,  a  chief  taster,  245. 



Chaush,  an  usher,  130. 

Chaush-bashi,  chief  of  the  Chaushes  — 

a  high  official,  183. 
Checaya,  or  Chechessi,  see  Kiaya. 
Chelebi,  a  gentleman. 
Cheri-bashi  (chief  of  soldiery),  a  petty 

officer  of  feudal  cavalry. 
Chiccaia,  or  Chietcudasci,  see  Kiaya. 
Chokadar,  a  page  of  high  rank,  127. 
Ciarcagi,  see  Ghureba. 
Ciaus,  see  Chaush. 
Cogia,  see  Hoja. 
Coureyschs,  see  Koreish. 

Danishmend,  a  master  of  arts,  205. 
Dar  ul-harb,  home  or  land  of  war,  29. 
Dar  ul-Islam,  home  or  land  of  Islam,  64. 
Defterdar,  a  treasurer,  167  ff.,  174. 
Defter-emini     (intendant     of     account- 
books),  a  recorder  of  fiefs,  172. 
Deli,  crazy  (appellation  of  a  scout  or  a 

captain  of  the  Akinji). 
Dervish,  a  member  of  a  Moslem  rehgious 

order,  207. 
Deveji,  a  camel-driver,  251. 
Devshurmeh,  a  gathering  or  collecting 

(of  the  tribute  boys),  51. 
Divan,  the  Ottoman  council  of  state, 

187  ff.;    a  council  of  a  great  officer, 

216,  note  3. 
Dulbend,  or  Dulipante  (Italianized),  a 


Emin  (plural  Umena),  an  intendant,  132. 
Emir,    a    descendant    of    the    prophet 

Mohammed,  206  ff.;   a  commander,  a 

Emir-al-.\khor,  a  grand  equerr>',  131. 
Ersi  kharajiyeh,  tribute  lands,  31. 
Ersi  memleket,  state  lands,  31. 
Ersi  'ushriyeh,  tithe  lands,  31. 
Eski,  old. 

Fetva,  a  response  from  a  Mufti,  208,  223. 
Fetva-khaneh,  the  drafting  bureau  of  the 

Sheik  ul-Islam,  208. 
Fikh,   the  practical   regulations   of   the 

Sacred  Law,  153. 

Firman,    an    administrative    ordinance' 

Gachaia,  see  Kiaya. 

Gharib(oglan),  see  Ghureba  (oghlan). 

Ghureba  (foreigner),  a  member  of  the 

lowest  corps  of  the  standing  cavalry, 

98  and  note  5. 
Gonnullu,  a  volimteer  soldier  or  sailor, 

Gul-behar,  rose  of  spring   (a  feminine 

proper  name),  57  note  3. 

Hebegibassi,  see  Jebeji-bashl. 
Hekim-bashi,  a  chief  physician,  129. 
Helvaji-bashi,  a  chief  confectioner,  245. 
Hoja,  a  teacher;    the  Sultan's  adviser, 

Holofagi,  see  Ulufagi. 
Humayim,  imperial. 

laching,  see  Akinji. 

lanicerotti  (Italianized),  the  Ajem-ogh- 

laxagi,  see  Yaziji. 
Ikinji  Kapu-oghlan,  a  white  eunuch  in 

charge  of  the  second  gate  of  the  plac^ 

Imam,  the  Caliph  or  lawful  successor  of 

Mohammed,  28,  150,  235;  a  leader  of 

daily  prayers,  206. 
Imbrahor,  Imbroor,  Imrakhor,  or  Imror, 

see  Emir-al-Akhor. 
Iskemleji,  a  page  of  high  rank,  244. 
Itch-oghlan  (inside  j'outh),  a  page  in  one 

of  the  Sultan's  palaces,  73  ff. 

Jebeji-bashi,  a  chief  armorer,  252. 
Jerrah-bashi,  a  chief  surgeon,  129. 
Jizyeh,  a  poll  or  capitation  tax  on  non- 
Moslems,  175. 

Kadi,  see  Kazi. 

Kadi  al  asker,  or  Kadi  1'  esker,  see  Ka- 

Kaim,  a  caretaker  of  a  mosque,  206. 
Kalem,  a  bureau  of  the  Treasury,  168  ff. 
Kanun,  an  imperial  decree,  152,  158. 



Kanuni,  legislator,  27. 

Kanun-nameh,  a  book  or  collection  of 
laws,  158  ff. 

Kapu  Aghasi  (general  of  the  gate),  the 
white  eunuch  in  charge  of  the  principal 
palace,  126. 

Kapudan  Pasha,  an  admiral,  189. 

Kapuji,  a  gatekeeper,  130. 

Kapuji-bashi,  a  head  gatekeeper,  126. 

Kapujilar-kiayasi,  a  grand  chamberlain, 

Kazi,  a  judge,  215  fl. 

Kaziasker  (judge  of  the  army) ,  one  of  the 
two  chief  judges  of  the  Ottoman  Em- 
pire, 220  S. 

Ketkhuda,  see  Kiaya. 

Kharaj,  a  tax  or  tribute  in  money  or 
kind  on  lands  belonging  to  non-Mos- 
lems, 175. 

Kharaji,  a  non-Moslem  who  pays  the 
kharij,  41. 

Khass  Oda  (private  chamber),  the  high- 
est chamber  of  pages,  75,  126. 

Khass,  a  very  large  fief,  100. 

Khatib,  a  leader  of  Friday  prayers,  206. 

Khazinehdar-bashi,  a  treasurer-in-chief, 

Khazineh-odassi  (chamber  of  the  treas- 
ury), the  second  chamber  of  pages, 

Khojagan,  a  chief  of  a  treasury  bureau, 

Khurrem,  happy,  joyful  (a  feminine 
proper  name),  57. 

Kiaya  (common  form  of  ketkhuda),  a 
steward  or  lieutenant,  96  note  4,  125. 

Kiaya-bey,  the  lieutenant  of  the  grand 
vizier,  182  fT. 

Kiaya  Katibi,  a  private  secretary  of  the 
Kiaya-bey,  184. 

Kilerji-bashi,  a  chief  of  the  sultan's 
pantry,  127. 

Kiler-odassi  (chamber  of  the  pantry), 
the  third  chamber  of  pages,  127. 

Kizlar  Aghasi  (general  of  the  girls),  the 
black  eunuch  in  charge  of  the  palace 
of  the  harem,  125. 

Koreish,    the   Arabian   tribe   of   which 

Mohammed  the  prophet  was  a  mem- 
ber, 150,  235. 
Kul,  a  slave;   one  of  the  sultan's  slave- 
family,  47  ff. 

Masraf-shehriyari  (imperial  steward), 
substitute  for  the  intendant  of  kitchen, 

Mawuna,  or  Maone  (Italianized),  a 
sailing  vessel. 

Mecter,  see  Mihter. 

Medresseh,  a  secondary  school  or  college, 
203  ff. 

Mekteb,  a  school,  203. 

Mektubji,  a  private  secretary  of  the 
grand  vizier,  184. 

Mihter,  a  tent-pitcher;  a  musician. 

Mihter-bashi,  the  chief  tent-pitcher,  132. 

Mir  Alem,  the  imperial  standard  bearer, 
131,  206. 

Miri-akhor,  see  Emir-al-Akhor. 

MoUa,  a  judge  of  high  rank,  217. 

Mosellem,  a  fief  holder  by  ancient  tenure, 

Muderis,  a  professor  in  a  Medresseh,  205. 

Muezzin,  one  who  calls  Moslems  to 
prayer,  206. 

Mufettish,  a  special  judge  dealing  with 
endowments,  201,  218. 

Mufti,  a  Moslem  legal  authority;  in 
particular,  the  Sheik  ul-Islam,  207  ff. 

Muhtesib,  a  lieutenant  of  police,  219. 

Mujtahid,  a  doctor  of  the  Sacred  Law. 

Mulazim  (candidate),  a  graduate  of  the 
higher  Medressehs,  205. 

Mulk,  land  held  in  fee  simple,  31. 

Munejim-bashi,  a  chief  astrologer,  129. 

Muste  emin,  a  resident  foreigner,  34. 

Mutbakh-emini,  intendant  of  the  kitch- 
en, 132. 

Muteferrika,  the  Noble  Guard,  129. 

Muteveli,  an  administrator  of  an  en- 
dowment, 201. 

Naib,  an  inferior  judge,  218. 

Nakib  oI-Eshraf,  the  chief  of  the  Seids  or 
descendants  of  the  prophet  Moham- 
med, 206. 



Nazir,  an  inspector  of  an  endowment, 


Nishanji,  a  chancellor,  182  ff. 

Nizam  al-mulk,  basis  of  the  order  of  the 

kingdom  (title  of  a  vizier  of  Melek 

Shah),  306. 

Oda  (a  room),  a  chamber  of  the  pages 
or  of  the  harem  recruits;  a  company 
of  the  Janissaries. 

Oda-bashi  (head  of  chamber),  the  page 
of  highest  rank,  244;  a  corporal  of  the 
Janissaries,  249. 

Oghlan,  a  youth. 

Okumak-yerleri  (reading-places),  prim- 
ary schools,  203. 

Orta,  a  company  of  the  Janissaries. 
{See  also  Oda.) 

Ouloufedgis,  see  Ulufaji. 

Papuji,  a  page  of  high  rank,  244. 

Pasha,  a  very  high  official. 

Peik,  a  member  of  the  body-guard  of 

halbardiers,  130. 
Podesta  (Italian),  a  municipal  judge. 

Quaia,  or  Queaya,  see  Kiaya. 

Ramazan,  the  Moslem  month  of  fasting. 
Rayah,  non-Moslem  Ottoman  subjects, 


Reis  Effendi,  or  Reis  ul-Khuttab,  a  re- 
cording secretary,  174;  a  recording 
secretary  of  the  Divan,  later  an  im- 
portant minister  of  state,  182  ff. 

Reis  ul-Ulema  (head  of  the  Ulema),  an 
early  title  of  the  Sheik  ul-Islam,  208 
note  3. 

Rekiab-Aghalari  (generals  of  the  stirrup) , 
a  group  of  high  officers  of  the  outside 
ser\ice  of  the  palace,  131. 

Rusnamehji,  a  chief  book-keeper  of  the 
Treasury,  168. 

Ruus  Kalemi,  a  bureau  of  the  Chancery, 

Sakka,  a  water-carrier. 

Sanjak,  a  flag  or  standard,  a  district. 

Sanjak  Bey,  a  high  officer  of  feudal, 
cavalry  and  governor  of  a  Sanjak,  103. 

Saremin,  see  Shehr-emini. 

Sarraf,  a  banker. 

Scheni,  see  Iskemleji. 

Seferli-odassi  (chamber  of  campaign), 
the  fourth  chamber  of  pages,  128  note 

Segban-bashi  (master  of  the  hounds), 
the  second  officer  of  the  corps  of  Janis- 
saries, 96,  132  note  3. 

Seid,  a  descendant  of  the  prophet  Mo- 
hammed, 206. 

Seis,  a  groom,  251. 

Selicter,  see  Silihdar, 

Seracter,  see  Sharabdar. 

Serai,  a  palace. 

Seraskier,  a  commander-in-chief. 

Serraj,  saddlers,  251. 

Seymen-bashi,  a  popular  form  of  Segban- 
bashi,  q.  V. 

Shahinji,  a  falconer,  252. 

Sharabdar  (drink-bearer),  a  page  of  high 
rank,  127. 

Shehr-emini,  intendant  of  imperial  build- 
ings, 132. 

Sheik,  a  preacher;  a  head  of  a  religious 
community,  206. 

Sheik  ul-Islam,  the  Mufti  of  Constanti- 
nople and  head  of  the  Moslem  Institu- 
tion, 208  flf. 

Sheri  (or  Sheriat),  the  Moslem  Sacred 
Law,  152  ff. 

Sherif,  a  descendant  of  the  prophet 
Mohammed,  206. 

Sihhdar  (sword-bearer),  a  member  of 
the  second  corps  of  standing  cavalry, 
98  and  note  5;  the  page  who  carried 
the  sultan's  arms,  127. 

Sillictar,  see  Silihdar. 

Sipah,  or  Sipahi,  see  Spahi. 

Sofi,  woolen;  a  dervish  (an  appella- 
tion of  the  Shah  of  Persia). 

Softa,  an  undergraduate  in  a  Medresseh, 

Solak  (left-handed) ,  a  janissary  bowman 
of  the  sultan's  personal  guard,  129. 

Spachi,  see  Spahi. 



Spacoillain,  see  Spahi-oghlan. 

Spahi,  a  cavalry  soldier;    a  member  of 

the  standing   or   feudal   cavalry,   47, 

q8  flf.,  100  ff. 
Spahi-oghlan  (cavalry  youth),  a  member 

of  the  highest  corps  of  the  standing 

cavalr>',  98  and  note  5. 
Spai,  see  Spahi. 
Subashi,  a  captain  of  the  feudal  cavalry 

and  governor  of  a  town,  103. 
Sukhta  (inflamed),  see  Softa. 
Suiastrus,  see  Silihdar. 
Sultana,  a  princess  or  queen  mother, 

125;    (the  true  Turkish  form  uses  a 

proper   name   or   the   word   Valideh, 

followed  by  Sultan). 
Suluphtar,  see  Silihdar. 

Tahvil  Kalemi,  a  bureau  of  the  Chancery, 

Talisman,  see  Danishmend. 

Tapu,  a  tenant's  lease  or  title  deed,  31. 

Terjuman,  an  interpreter  (dragoman). 

Terjuman  Divani  Humayun,  a  chief  in- 
terpreter of  the  sultan,  183. 

Teshrifat,  ceremony,  134. 

Teshrifatji,  a  master  of  ceremonies,  184. 

Teskereh,  a  document. 

Teskereji,  a  master  of  petitions,  184. 

Teskereji-bashi  (chief  of  document- 
writers),  the  Nishanji,  184,  185.,  a  fief  of  small  income,  100;  feudal 

Timarji,  the  holder  of  a  Timar. 

Tughra,  the  sultan's  monogram,  185. 

Ulema  (plural  of  dlim,  a  learned  man), 
the  whole  body  of  Moslems  learned  in 
the  Sacred  Law,  203  ff. 

Ulufaji  (paid  troops),  a  member  of  the 

third  corps  of  the  sultan's  standing 

cavalry,  q8  and  note  5. 
Umena,  plural  of  Emin. 
Urf,  the  sovereign  will  of  the  reigning 

sultan,  152,  162. 
'Ushr,   a   tithe   on   lands   belonging   to 

Moslems,  175. 

Vakf,  a  religious  endowment,  31,  201  ff. 

Valideh,  a  mother. 

Veznedar,  an  official  weigher  of  money, 

Vizier    (burden-bearer),    a    minister    of 

state,  163  ff. 
Voivode  (Slavic),  an  oflScer,  a  governor. 

Yachinji,  see  Akinji. 

Yaya,  a  fief  holder  by  ancient  tenure, 
owing  infantry  service,  105. 

Yaziji,  a  scribe  or  secretary. 

Yedi-kiileh  (seven  towers),  a  strong 
castle  against  the  land  wall  of  Con- 
stantinople, 172. 

Yeni-cheri  (new  soldiery),  the  corps  of 
the  Janissaries,  91  ff. 

Yeni  Oda  (new  chamber),  the  lowest 
chamber  of  pages  in  the  principal 
palace,  75,  127. 

Zagarji-bashi   (master  of  the  harriers), 

a  high  ofiQcer  of  the  Janissaries,   132 

note  5. 
Zanijiler  (Italianized),  lancers   or  Voi- 

naks  (?),  252. 
Zarabkhane-emini,   intendant   of   mints 

and  mines,  132. 
Ziam,  the  holder  of  a  Ziamet. 
Ziamct,  a  large  fief,  100. 
Zimmi,  a  tributary  non-Moslem  subject, 




AcHMET  I,  126  note  i,  160  and  note  5. 

Advancement  based  on  merit,  82-86; 
in  Mogul  Empire,  283. 

Adviser  of  sullan  {Iloja),  128,  218,  225. 

Afghans,  in  Mogul  Empire,  280,  282. 

Agra,  287. 

Agricultural  conditions,  144  and  note  2, 
163,  177;  under  Moguls  in  India,  297, 

Akbar,  Mogul  emperor,  278,  281;  re- 
moved poll-tax  on  non-Moslems,  284; 
army  of,  295;  presents  made  to,  188; 
harem  of,  290;  revenue  system  of, 
293,  294;  amount  of  revenue  of,  195; 
policy  of,  toward  cultivators  of  soil, 
297;  removed  internal  tolls,  298;  tol- 
erated Hindus,  298;  relation  to  Mo- 
hammedanism of,  302;  "  divine  faith  " 
of,  302. 

Albania,  status  of,  30,  33,  258,  297; 
furnished  tribute  boys,  52,  74. 

Ali  Pasha,  grand  vizier  of  Suleiman, 
steps  in  promotion  of,  87,  88;  great 
authority,  164. 

Anatolia,  77,  79  note  4,  102,  104,  168, 
169,  220;  Beylerbey  of,  103-105,  189. 

Arabia,  status  of,  6,  30;  rendering  of 
justice  in,  37;  taxation  in,  175,  176. 

Arabic  language,  21,  77. 

Arabs,  influence  on  Ottoman  Empire, 
4,  20,  23;  in  Foreign  Legion,  50;  re- 
lation of,  to  Ottoman  government, 
227,  258,  297;  service  of,  to  Mogul 
emperors,  281. 

Arbitrary  taxes,  175,  176. 

Architecture,  in  Ottoman  Empire,  23, 
24,  239-241;  in  Mogul  Empire,  287, 

Armenian  subjects,  a  separate  organiza- 
tion, 34,  37;  not  liable  to  tribute  of 
boys,  34. 

Arms,  of  Spahis  of  the  Porte  and  Janis- 
saries, 138,  139;  of  Mogul  infantry, 

Army  — 
Of  Ottoman  Empire,  90-113,  194; 
principal  subdivisions  of,  91;  the 
territorial  army,  104,  105;  numbers 
in,  106, 107  and  note  i;  the  supreme 
command  of,  109-111;  indivisibil- 
ity of,  111-113. 
Of  Mogul  emperors,  279,  285-287; 
compared  with  Ottoman  army,  285. 

Artillery  of  Mogul  emperors,  286. 

Asia  Minor,  Occidental  influence  in,  7; 
occupation  of,  by  Turks,  5,  14  £f.,  35, 
227;  defined,  14  note  i;  teachers 
from,  77;  Janissary  apprentices  sent 
to,  79;  heretics  in,  210.    See  Anatolia. 

Astrologer  of  sultan,  129. 

Audiences,  of  Suleiman,  loi;  of  Aurang- 
zeb,  289,  296;  of  Humayun,  296. 

Aurangzeb,  Mogul  emperor,  compared 
with  Suleiman,  278,  302;  a  zealous 
^Moslem,  284,  298,  302;  army  of,  286, 
287;  audiences  of,  289,  296;  sisters 
of,  291;  views  on  government  of,  292; 
in  civil  wars,  293;  revenue  of,  295; 
reimposed  capitation  tax  on  non-Mos- 
lems, 295;  education  of,  300,  301. 

Austria,  raided,  29,  50;  paid  tribute 
to  Suleiman,  30,  177;  wars  of,  with 
Ottoman  Empire,  112,  113. 

Baber,  founder  of  Mogul  Empire,  house 
of,  compared  with  house  of  Osman, 
278,  292,  293,  299  {see  Timur,  house 
of);  followers  of,  279;  character  of, 
280;  family  life  of,  281;  treatment  of 
Moslem  subjects  by,  298. 

Babylon,  4. 

Bairam,  feast  of,  135,  136,  140. 




Balkan  peninsula,  6,  51,  103.  See  Al- 
banians, Bulgarians,  Rumelia,  Ser- 

Bangash  tribe  of  Afghans,  281,  282. 

Battle,  order  of,  100,  104. 

Bayezid  II,  circumstances  of  deposition 
of,  94;  gave  kiillar  their  own  justice, 
116;  honor  shown  the  Mufti  by,  209. 

Bayezid,  son  of  Suleiman,  execution  of, 
94,  95,  142,  143;  war  against,  136. 

Bedchamber,  gentlemen  of  the,  75-78, 
126,  127. 

Body-guards,  129. 

Bondage,  American  colonial,  compared 
with  Ottoman  slavery,  60  note  7. 

Booty,  176,  178. 

Bosra,  31. 

Brahmins,  282,  298. 

Buddhist  influence  on  Mogul  Empire, 

Bulgarians,  16,  Z2>,  35,  74- 

Bureaucratic  tendencies,  19,  32,  186, 

Bureaus,  of  the  Treasur>^,  168  ff.;  of 
the  Chancery,  183;  of  the  Mufti,  208. 

Busbecq,  opinion  of,  on  Ottoman  educa- 
tion, 74,  86;  dealings  with  Janissaries, 
96;  witnessed  ceremonies,  136-141;  on 
execution  of  Mustapha,  213. 

Byzantine  Empire,  disintegration  of,  in 
13th  century,  6;  bequest  of,  to  Otto- 
man Turks,  4,  21,  24,  227. 

Caliph,  as  Imam,  28,  157,  163  note  i; 

the  sultan  as,  150;   Suleiman  as,  234. 
Canon  law,  of  Roman  Catholic  Church, 

157;  of  Moslems,  see  Sacred  Law. 
Capitation  tax,  21,  170,  175,  284. 
Caucasus,  slaves  from,   16,  34,  50,   57, 

281 .    See  Circassia,  Georgia,  ]Mingrelia. 
Cavalry  — 

Of  Ottoman  Empire,  regular,  see 
Spahis  of  the  Porte;  feudal,  100- 
105;  irregiilar,  105-107. 

Of  Mogul  Empire,  regular,  285;  feudal, 
285,  286. 
Ceremonies  of  the  Court,  133-141;  law 

of,  134,  158. 

Chancellor,  182-187,  189,  248. 
Chancery,  bureaus    of,   183;    personnel 

of,  186,  187. 
Charles  V,  Emperor,  relations  of,  with 

Suleiman,  112,  113  and  note  4. 
China,  influence  of,  on  Turks  and  Mon- 
gols, 5,  19,  118. 
Christians,  converted  and  incorporated 
as  Turks,  8, 14-17, 63-68;  not  entrusted 
with  great  power,  62;  right  to  practise 
their  religion,  211,  212.     See  Renegade 
Christian  subjects  of  Ottoman  Empire, 
protected   by   Sacred  Law,    26,   212; 
position   of,   34;    subject   to  levy  of 
male  children,  51-55;    relation  of,  to 
Sultan,     151;     legislation    regarding, 
159,  160  note  i;  taxation  of,  170,  175; 
church  lands  of,  172;  Selim  I's  attempt 
to  convert  forcibly,  211,  212;    treat- 
ment of,  in  courts,  222. 
Circassia,  slaves  from,  :^2>  i^ote  2,  57,  74, 

Civil  war,  in  Ottoman  Empire,  94;    in 

Mogul  Empire,  293,  301. 
Clerg}',  Moslem,  206. 
Codifications,    of  ^Moslem  Sacred  Law, 
152,  153,  292;    of  sultans'  legislation, 
Colleges,  of  pages,  73-79;  of  education, 

Comparison   of   the   Ruling   Institution 
and  the  Moslem  Institution,  227-236; 
likenesses,  227-230;    differences,  230- 
232;  relative  power,  232-236. 
Confiscations,  55,  172,  178,  179. 
Conservatism,    in    regard    to   taxation, 
177;    in  education,   204;    of  the  two 
great  institutions  compared,  230,  232, 
233.    See  Custom. 
Constantinople  described,  239-241. 
Constitution,  the  Sacred  Law  a  form  of, 
27,  28,  150,  156,  157,  175,  193,  209, 
Conversion  to  Mohammedanism,  in  Asia 
Minor,  15  ff.;   by  Ottoman  Turks,  33, 
67;  by  the  Ruling  Institution,  62-71; 
meaning  of,  62,  63;   why  encouraged, 



63-66;  not  usually  forcible,  63  and  note 
2,  66  and  note  3,  67;  sincerity  of,  un- 
certain, 68-69;  in  India,  284. 

Corruption,  official,  32,  39,  86,  144,  161, 
177;  judicial,  222. 

Costumes,  134,  135. 

Counsellors-at-law,  see  Jurists. 

Court  — 
Of  the  sultan,  120-145;  separation  of 
men  and  women,  121;  organization  j 
of  household,  123;  the  harem,  124- 
126;    the   inside   service,    126-128; 
the  outside  service,  128-133;    cere- 
monies of,   133-141;    influence  of, 
Of  Mogul  emperors,  287-291. 

Courts  of  justice,  the  Divan,  187-193, 
221;  of  the  Grand  Vizier,  166,  221; 
of  the  Kaziaskcrs,  220;  of  present-day 
Turkey,  154  note  2;  procedure  of, 
219-221;  venality  of,  discussed,  222, 
223;  the  law  administered  by,  223. 

Crimean  Tartary,  status,  30;  rendering 
of  justice  in,  37,  216;  slaves  sent  from, 
50;  Selim  I  married  princess  from, 
58  note  2;  contingent  furnished  by, 
106;  Khan  of,  pensioned,  171. 

Croatians,  34. 

Crusades,  6-9,  227. 

Cursus  honortitn,  of  Ruling  Institution 
illustrated,  87,  88;  of  Moslem  Insti- 
tution, 212  and  note  i,  235. 

Custom,  power  of,  19,  21,  27,  230. 

Customary  law,  152,  161,  162,  223. 

Decentralization,    tendency    toward, 

32,38,  174. 
Delhi,   Moslem   capital   of   India,    280, 

285,  287,  299,  300. 
Dem.ocracy,  84,  198,  225. 
Dervishes,  37,  207,  300. 
Descendants  of  Mohammed  the  Prophet 

(Seids),  37,  206,  207,  225,  300. 
Despotism,  in  Ottoman  Empire,  25-27, 

46,48,55,151,159,174,193;  in  Mogul 

Empire,  279,  292. 
Dil-Dar,  wife  of  Baber,  290.. 
Discipline,   of  Janissaries,   96,   97   and 

note  i;  of  army  generally,  108,  109; 
of  Ruling  Institution,  196. 

Divan,  135,  166,  187-193;  membership 
of,  188-190;  sessions  of,  189-191; 
general  character  of,  191-193;  com- 
parison with  audiences  of  Aurangzeb, 
296;  of  the  Grand  Vizier,  166;  of 
lesser  officials,  216  note  3. 

Domain  lands,  31,  169,  171,  172,  176. 

Donatives  to  Janissaries,  92  and  note  5. 

Ebu  su'ud,  the  Mufti,  120,  212  and 
note  2,  213;  table  of  contents  of  his 
collection  of  Suleiman's  laws,  276, 

Education  — 
Of   members   of    Ruling   Institution, 
71-88,  196,  197;  comprehensiveness 
of,  71,  72;  classification  of,  73. 
Of  members  of  ^Moslem  Institution, 
203-206,  225;  comparison  of  above 
systems,  228,  229,  234,  235. 
Of  Moslems  in  India,  300. 

Egypt,  unable  to  unify  Levant,  10; 
status  of,  30;  inhabitants  of,  33;  Janis- 
saries of,  95;  legislation  for,  159,  160; 
taxation  of,  176;   Mamelukes  of,  280. 

Emancipation  of  slaves,  48,  60. 

Endowments,  religious  and  charitable, 
31,  32,  200-203,  234  and  note  i,  235, 

Equerries,  131. 

Equity  in  Turkey,  223. 

Eugene,  Prince,  287. 

Eunuchs,  57,  125-128. 

Execution,  grounds  of,  88;  of  Mustapha, 
89,  94,  95,  142,  213;  of  Bayezid  and 
Ibrahim,  89,  94,  in,  141,  142;  of 
grand  viziers,  167;  process  of,  210, 
221;  policy  of,  222.     5ec  Fratricide. 

Expenditures  of  government,  178,  179. 

E.xtortion,  32,  86,  144,  163,  182. 

Fatehpcr-Sikri,  287,  302. 

Ferdinand  I,  Archduke  and  Emperor, 

30,   1X2. 

Feudal  cavalry  — 
Of  Ottoman  Empire,  100-105;   rights 



of,  loo;  obligations  of,  loi;  officers 
of,  103-105. 
Of  Mogul  Empire,  280,  285,  286. 

Feudal  system  of  Ottomans,  21,  24,  100- 
105,  176,  181  and  note  2;  law  of,  152, 
159-161;  of  Mogul  Empire,  285,  286. 

Fiefs,  origin  of,  21,  24,  31,  32;  reorgan- 
ized by  Suleiman,  10